[London, LTTW] After days of cloud and rain, the sun finally shone on London as the Notting Hill Festival kicked off on Sunday morning, August 28, 2011. People of all ages, origins and races were out on the streets around Notting Hill, Queensway, and Portobello area. Parades of music and dance in colorful and stunning costumes circled the streets of Westbourne Grove, Westbourne Park, Ladbrook Grove, and Portobello Road. Steel Pan on truck, Samba, Reggae, and marching band were just the small parts of the celebration. Stalls of homemade international food were lined up along the streets, ranging from Tapas, Pizza, Jerk Chicken, and Hot Dog to Grilled Corn. Police squad seemed to be doubled than usual to ensure everyone’s safety. With all the maximum effort from the police force, one criminal incident took place just when the festival was about to end. A sixteen-year-old boy stabbed another man; the victim himself is still in critical condition.
Notting Hill Festival is one of the biggest festivals in Europe, if not the biggest. 40,000 volunteers of all kind participated this year to make up the festival, and thousands of others came just to see and enjoy the spirit of the event. London needed this event even more this year to heal the trauma caused by the recent riots. Even the sun welcomed the festival by showing up during the two days of the event. Long live Notting Hill Festival! (SGS)