evellers have descended on the streets of Notting Hill to mark the first carnival since 2019.
The day kicked off with members of the Emancipated Run Crew – dressed in green in tribute to those who died at Grenfell – beginning the parade and marking the official launch of Notting Hill Carnival.
Co-founder of the club Jules Stephenson said: “It (the atmosphere) is electric – everyone is so excited about carnival being back.”
Sunday, traditionally “family day”, saw bright and dazzling costumes as the carnival procession made its way through Ladbroke Grove.
Crowds of young children blowing whistles danced down the streets with their parents in tow.
Millions are expected to attend the carnival over the course of the two-day festival, which has had a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
Carina Charles, 40, a nurse from Basildon, said: “I like the togetherness of the people and the mixture of the culture.
“My Caribbean music, the soca music is what I love the most.”
She added: “Everybody is jovial – they are excited after coming out of lockdown after three years.”
Different sound systems dotted around the streets of west London entertained the dancing crowds as revellers smiled to the booming music.
Small children standing on the doorsteps of their houses waved Jamaican flags and waved at passers-by.
Shauna Walsh, 38, who lives in Kensal Rise, said: “The atmosphere has been really uplifting and warming – it is nice to be back.”
London mayor Sadiq Khan said: “As a Londoner I’m really pleased carnival is back.”
He said carnival was celebrating Caribbean culture, heritage, and history and there was a “pent up” demand for festivities this year.
He added: “We think it’s going to be the biggest and best ever.”
But Mr Khan also warned the cost-of-living crisis had affected the carnival.
He told the PA news agency: “We are seeing those who want to have floats, those who want to have sound systems, pulling out because they can’t afford to pay their bills.”
Farah Mokaddem, 32, travelled from Geneva to attend Notting Hill carnival this year.
She said: “I always wanted to go here.”
She added: “The atmosphere is very animated: everyone is on their balconies and on the terrace. And people of all ages are watching as people go past.”
Paul Wright, 36, an account manager from Ealing, said: “There’s a great atmosphere, everyone seems to be having a good time.
“I think there’s more people here for a good time rather than any incidents.”
He added that it was a “nice thing” where everyone came together and had a nice time.
Mr Wright joked: “The weather can always be better.”