Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Notting Hill Carnival kicks off

Dancers from Kinetika Bloco take part in the Notting Hill Carnival in west London

Notting Hill Carnival has kicked off with an explosion of colour and music.

Revellers and performers basked in bank holiday sunshine for Europe's biggest street festival after it had been feared the first day - known as children's day - would be hampered by rain.

Organisers expected up to one million people to attend the Carnival over Sunday and Monday in west London to experience Caribbean culture, food, music and dance.

Thumping basslines, sizzling meat and tooting whistles filled the air from around 11am as giant floats made their way from Westbourne Park Underground station, down Great Western Road and Chepstow Road, along Westbourne Grove and up Ladbroke Grove.

Festival-goers young and old danced to giant sound-systems set up on street corners, while procession performers wore multi-coloured costumes, played steel drums and danced behind trucks which pumped out anything from reggae to dancehall, and calypso to dub.

Scotland Yard said police made around 70 arrests - mainly for drugs offences - while London Ambulance Service and St John Ambulance treated more than 300 people for cuts and bruises to their feet and alcohol-related injuries. A spokesman said 45 were taken to hospital.

Other arrests were made for assaults on police, public order offences and possession of offensive weapons, Scotland Yard said.

Police later said 93 people had been arrested.

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