NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL 2013, PART 1 – BEFORE SUNSET…

The crowd, the noise, the heat, the vastness, the hustle, the bustle, the performers, the food, the beer, the rum, the punch, the dancers, the musicians, the parade and the streams of people following, following, the endless tide of people swaying together, the music stages, the flags flying high and whistles blowing loud, the boarded up shops and graffiti, the great graffiti, the food, the beer, the music going off, the trying to find a toilet, the chatting to complete strangers, the rubbish everywhere that will disappear by morning, the young and the hungry, the old and experienced, the dancing, the music, the skirmishes, the steel bands, the calypso, the sound-systems booming, the rum, the rum casualties, the guy passed out on the girl’s shoulder, the trying to make him drink water, the great people you meet, the flags of every nation, the colours, the clothes, the smoke, the chicken frying, the twenty-deep queues for almost-cold cans of Red Stripe, the smiles, the laughs, the families, the friends, the couples, the lovers, the gangs jostling, the snogging girls and out-and-proud guys, the dancing where you stand, the sleeping on the pavement, the future lovers and new friends, the lost souls, the gurners, the ravers, the smokers, the smell of weed in the air, the police everywhere, the flash points and private security, the young and the old, the hippies and money-makers, the black and the white, the brown and the yellow, the barriers gone and one colour under the sun, the following your nose and ending up lost and happy and losing your friends and making more and falling asleep on the night bus home…

This is a celebration of tolerance, and 50 years after Martin had a dream, is Claudia’s dream in action – a dream of humanity where people of all colours, creeds and backgrounds can get along and party together in the streets of one of the best cities in the world… This is something special – this is Notting Hill Carnival.

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