Special Events in London
Londoner's kick off the New Year with the world's biggest street celebration. The two-mile parade begins in Westminster before winding through the city to Green Park. Nearly one million celebrants attend each year, and each of the city's 32 boroughs creates floats showing off their neighborhood's style. The celebration's grand finale is a concert that ends with a massive group sing-a-long of the “Land of Hope and Glory.”
Head of the River Race
In March, the city hosts the annual Head of the River Race, which draws over 3,500 participants from around the world. Crews begin in Mortlake, and then row to London's Tideway in hopes of winning the coveted trophy. Thousands of cheering spectators line the riverbanks, making this one of the years most exciting and festive sporting events.
For five days each May, the grounds of Chelsea's Royal Hospital become awash in color and fragrance for the annual Flower Show. One of the most famous shows of its kind around the world, highlights include avant-garde displays designed by leading horticulturists and the centerpiece Floral Marquee. New plants make their debut at the show while popular older varieties are revived by gardening enthusiasts. The impressive exhibits also include trees, vegetables, herbs, garden photography and floral arrangements.
City of London Festival
London celebrates its artistic side each June and July with the City of London Festival, an arts festival that features world-class performances of dance, opera, classical music, jazz and more. Most performances are free, making the arts accessible to locals and tourists from around the world.
Carnaval del Pueblo
Europe's greatest celebration of Latin American culture hits the streets of London each August during the Carnaval del Pueblo. Held in Burgess Park, the festival is known for spectacular processions of costumes, dancers, musicians and exotic floats that make their way through the city from London Bridge. Throughout the day, Latin American beats echo throughout the area while musicians play on four outdoor stages, and the air fills with the tantalizing aroma of traditional foods.
Notting Hill Carnival
Since 1965, the Notting Hill Carnival has been one of London's most festive and anticipated events. For two days each August, the area has attracted over one million partygoers eager to celebrate London's West Indian community. The world's second largest street festival, the Notting Hill Carnival is marked by elaborate parades, wild costumes, dances, musical performances, street food and revelry that last through the night.