Notting Hill Carnival: a talk from one of the founders

Ansel Wong gave us a fascinating insight into the development of the Notting Hill

Whilst we are familiar with it as our ‘local’ carnival, it is now the largest carnival in the
world. Growing from a couple of hundred participants and spectators, it now
welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors, with the two-day event attracting people
from across the country. Taking the Trinidadian tradition as its model, in 1964 it
began as a small neighbourhood event enlivening the August Bank holiday and
celebrating the wonderful diversity, heritage, and traditions of the local Caribbean

Whilst a number of our WI members have attended this vibrant carnival as
spectators, it was really interesting to learn how much work goes into its
organisation. Year-long strategic planning includes agreeing on themes, the making
of lavish costumes, and decisions relating to musicians, dancers and the licensing
and positioning of food and drink stalls. Ansel explained that the giant music
systems are set up in the central area, with the fabulous parade of dancers and
carnival floats moving in a larger outer-circle. The organisers work very closely with
Westminster Council and the police to ensure that the experience is a safe and
happy one for the crowds.

Ansel said that with the 2018 event just a couple of weeks away, they are already
planning for 2019!

Written By Louise