Monday, August 26, 2013

Notting Hill Carnival - the crowd is just getting warmed up

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Every year this time, Notting Hill is transformed beyond recognition by revellers that come from far and wide to take part in the celebration that started in 1966. Over the end August Bank holiday, Notting Hill Carnival attracts more than a million people and it turns the normally genteel area beyond recognition. It is hardly your Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant setting, think Carnival of Brazil with a west Indies theme instead.

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Who needs a camera when you can.... 

While the real celebration is on Monday, the stage is set for the day before where parents bring their kids out in droves to soak up the atmosphere. The drinking hasn't started in earnest yet and rowdiness is swiftly put down with the strong police presence. Make no mistake though, it is going to get pretty chaotic when the parade starts making its round on Monday itself. Meanwhile, with the various sound system installed strategically throughout the Notting Hill and Ladbroke Grove area, the crowds are just getting warmed up.

Just a note though, if you plan on getting off Notting Hill station for the Carnival, it will be an "exit only" station - no one will be allowed back in. You'll have to make your way to Latimer Road station to get back onto the Underground. Please plan your route beforehand.  

In the meantime, here are some shots that I took on Sunday.

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Just got off the train and heading to the Carnival

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The exit is getting chocked up

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Properties are boarded up to minimise damage

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Stick close to me, do you hear?

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One of the more enthusiastic ones on the Sunday

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Some came prepared... wait a minute, are those just one costume cut up? 

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Throngs of revellers heading to the main party area

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One of the various sound system - the sound waves generated is almost painful to bear at this distance

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A mobile band doing their bit

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A policeman keeping a wary eye on the crowds

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