Celebrate the start of the new year with a mighty procession of marching bands, horse-drawn carriages, carnival dancers and steel drums. Celebrating all the cultures that make London amazing, the annual event stretches from Piccadilly to Parliament Street and starts at the reasonably hangover-friendly time of 12 noon. There’ll be cheerleaders, motorbike stunt riders, London Chinatown Chinese Association, the Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band, All the Queen’s Horses, plenty of American marching bands and Carnaval del Pueblo among many, many, others.
Car lovers can enjoy drive-bys of Aston Martins, Rolls Royces, Mini Mokes, Minis and movie cars including a DeLorean and the original Batmobile. No parade is complete without some giant balloons and two of this year’s will have the distinctly British forms of a guardsman and a red phone box.
The parade is part of a festival which includes a concert series and choral festival from the 29th of December to the 2nd of January. While some of the events require tickets, the parade is free to watch, and we suggest you arrive early to secure a good spot.
Note that when performers pass the cenotaph they will fall silent, so best to find another spot to watch the parade (but ideal if you’re sensitive to noise).Organisers may cancel events, alter schedules, or change admission requirements without notice. Always check official sites before heading to an event.