Are You Ready For Notting Hill Carnival?

A carnival pro on how to make the most of this year's party

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I live in Notting Hill, so this bank holiday weekend I get to be treated to a front row seat for one of the world's biggest street parties: Notting Hill Carnival.

Well, not literally a seat, obviously, who'd want to sit down when there's dancing to be done and all that food to eat?

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Here are the things I'm looking forward to most this year:-

The Costumes

I've had friends who've danced with Mas Bands in previous years and the preparation that goes into it all is mind-blowing.

Roughly one gazillion hours is spent making the costumes, which are all done by hand.

Walking around your neighbourhood amid a sea of colours, feathers, gigantic headdresses and glitter is really how I wish London could look all year round.

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The Sound Systems

Dancing through the street with abandon is one of the best things about Carnival.

Be free, be uninhibited and let loose.

There are about 38 different sound systems dotted around the area, ranging from reggae roots to the dirtiest of Grime.

The Boiler Room x Deviation stage at Powis Terrace promises to be the place to be this year.

The Food

Let the smell of jerk chicken wafting through the air gently guide you to some glorious culinary delights.

And don't think you won't be catered for if you're vegetarian - there are Jamaican patties, fried plantain, various rice dishes and more from the tons of food stalls.

But venture off some side streets and you'll find people barbecuing outside their houses and selling some good ol' home cooking for cheap.

The Endless Good Vibes

The dancing in the street, the smiles, people helping each other - Notting Hill Carnival is a celebration of the best this city can be.

It's a couple of million strangers all coming together on this one little patch of London and creating a truly magical feeling - like an injection of good vibes directly to your soul. 

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