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Notting Hill Carnival Pioneers Festival was a success

TIME TO CELEBRATE: The festival is now in its fifth year (image credit: Notting Hill Carnival Pioneers)

MORE THAN 2,500 people attended the free Notting Hill Carnival Pioneers Festival in Portobello Green and Acklam Village, west London to pay tribute to those who have played a part in the success of the Notting Hill Carnival as well as enjoy the day's festivities in the run-up to Carnival itself this coming August Bank Holiday.

The Festival is now in its fifth year. This year, its theme was ‘Tributes to the Heroes and She-roes of Ladbroke Grove, Latimer and Harrow Road.’

The festival’s creative director Leslie Palmer MBE, who is recognised for his contribution to Carnival, started the event to honour those who helped shape the Notting Hill Carnival as we know it today. Since the first event in 2013, the festival has grown and become an important annual event for the community and a spectacular prelude to the main Bank Holiday event.

Celebrating its Caribbean roots, the festival was colourful, full of energy, costumes, live music, food and glorious sunshine. This year also paid tribute to Dominica and St. Lucia, with a dedicated stage at Acklam Village. Speeches were given by the High Commissioners from both Islands and performances and special videos were shown to visitors. Caricom High Commissions for other Caribbean Islands also attended the festival.


FUN IN THE SUN: Families enjoying the day (image credit: Westway Trust/Oliver Rudkin)

The event took place half a mile from Grenfell Tower and throughout the day tributes were paid to those who died in the fire by different performers. To set the scene. Portobello Green was decorated by the 24hearts, a community project run by Sophie Lodge.

Performances on the day included a mix of live soca and reggae performances as well as DJ sets. A performance from Queen of Lovers Rock Janet Kay, who is also celebrating 40 years in the music industry, was a highlight. The festival also celebrated the talent from the local community with performances from the Portobello Choir; the under-12s soca dance group Empress *1 and many more local acts.

For more information on the Notting Hill Carnival Pioneers Festival, click here.

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