Notting Hill Carnival, London

The Notting Hill Carnival takes over Notting Hill every August Bank Holiday.  Hundreds of thousands of people turned up for the annual celebration with Caribbean roots.  We went for the tail end of the 2-day festival, and caught the parade, listened to music, ate food, and danced.  Everyone was having a blast.  Seriously, even the police.  (That video is worth watching.)

Maybe I was crazy to be expecting floats like in the Rose Bowl Parade or Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  These were just basically open trucks blasting music, with people following in costumes, but with an energy I’d imagine you’d only find at Mardi Gras or in Rio.

We followed the parade and ended at Beach Blanket Babylon, which is apparently normally a very upscale restaurant.  When we got near Beach Blanket Babylon, there was a crowd formed around a woman dancing, who we decided to call “Mavis” since we never learned her name.  She was from Ireland and had been living in London for decades.  She was truly the life of the party.  Men at least 20-years her junior lined up to dance with her.  (Okay fine, we lined up to dance with her, too.)  She never missed a beat, as the crowd cheered for literally hours.

© Sarah Milstein 2013