Notting Hill Carnival has returned to west London’s streets for the first time in two years.
The Covid-19 pandemic forced the event to be put on hold in 2020 and 2021.
Sunday’s event began with a run to remember the 72 victims of the Grenfell Tower fire and a 72-second silence was held at 3 p.m. British time.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he would “never forget” the tragedy that took place in June 2017 and said the community wanted “justice”.
“What the community wants is two main things,” Khan said.
“One is for justice to happen and for those responsible be held to account and that still hasn’t happened. And secondly for this to never happen again.”
Those involved in the Notting Hill Carnival processions said it was their “moment of claiming the streets and having a really good time”. (Reuters)
The carnival’s chief executive, Matthew Phillips, said although the pandemic had affected previous years, this year the cost of living crisis was the biggest worry.
He said some bands could not appear and the flamboyant costumes that featured in the main parade would be unaffordable for some.
Linett Kamala, who is on the carnival’s board of trustees, said it had been expensive to stage the event.
“It is a free event but there’s absolutely a cost to all of us involved in terms of materials, equipment hire, and storage hire,” she said.
“It’s been tough for all of the carnivalists, we’ve been affected by the pandemic too, but that’s not deterred us, people will see an amazing carnival this year.” (BBC)