Friday, September 17, 2010
When a feather-clad cast of several hundred danced to calypso beats through west London's streets for the first Notting Hill Carnival in 1964, few would have thought the event would develop into the vast and vivid expression of multiculturalism it is today.
I was lucky enough to be BBC News' online reporter for 2010's carnival.
Here is the trilogy of features I wrote.
As a gargantuan glistening golden dragon, strapped onto 16-year-old Vernon Francis' back, turns onto Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill Carnival's carnal throng can be seen far into the distance.
The carnival has grown from an essentially Trinidadian template of mobile steel bands, into Europe's largest street party, with performers embracing cultures from the Caribbean and beyond.
As the sequins shimmer, feathers flutter and steel drums rumble at this weekend's Notting Hill Carnival, organisers will be thinking "you ain't seen nothing yet" as they look forward to 2012.