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Crowds to pack streets for carnival

Thousands of revellers are hoping for some Bank Holiday sunshine celebrate the final day of the Notting Hill Carnival.

Crowds of more than 400,000 descended on the capital on Sunday for the first day of Europe's biggest street festival.

Afternoon showers failed to dampen the party spirit as spectators lined the three-and-a-half mile route to watch dancers in flamboyant, brightly-coloured outfits parade through the streets of west London to the sounds of steel drums.

Cloudy skies and a short burst of heavy rain did not stop people enjoying the spectacle of Children's Day and tucking into traditional Caribbean food.

Notting Hill Carnival director Ancil Barclay said: "It's been excellent. We've had some exceptional costumes on display today. There was a bit of rain earlier, but it has not stopped the flow of floats coming through the judging point and the crowds of spectators. The atmosphere has been fantastic."

The £6 million policing strategy appeared to run smoothly, with the Metropolitan Police reporting 55 arrests by 7.30pm for public order and drink-driving offences, plus drugs possession - down slightly from last year's figure of 78 for the first day.

London Ambulance Service said it treated 181 people for minor injuries in its street centres in conjunction with St John Ambulance, 26 of which were taken to hospital for treatment.

An estimated 5,000 officers were patrolling the event, helping to secure the parade route.

Chief Inspector Jo Edwards said officers were expecting a busier second day with the adults' parade and measures were in place to prepare for it.


From Belfast Telegraph