Heavy rain soaked the 59th year of the Notting Hill Carnival but it did not stop the determined revellers who were out for a party.
Instead of the t-shirts and shorts sported for the searing hot weather of just a few weeks ago, there were umbrellas and a roaring trade for colourful plastic rain macs at Europe’s biggest street party.
There were 36 arrests on Sunday – 21 for drug offences, four for possession of an offence weapon, one each for criminal damage, sexual assault, theft, assault on police and seven other offences.
After a wave of violent crime in the capital in recent months, Scotland Yard announced knife arches had been placed at ‘strategic points’ along the route to help reassure people about their safety, though the Metropolitan Police did not disclose where.
Police hope the ‘tried and tested’ method of knife arches will put off those planning to arm themselves with knives and offensive weapons but not everybody will be expected to pass through them.
The bank holiday weekend event is also being policed by the highest number of officers in six years.
One car got caught up in the festivities and was covered in paint by party goers amid the Carnival
General view at the Red Bull Music Academy Sound System at Notting Hill this evening as performers flanked to the stage despite the rain
Don’t rain on my parade: Groups dance through the rain at the carnival as their coloured outfits brighten up cloudy grey skies
Revellers at the carnival kept their costumes intact as they continued partying through the pouring rain this bank holiday
The rain comes but fails to dampen spirits too much: Revellers put on plastics ponchos to celebrate one of the world’s largest street festivals
Revellers hold coffee cups and swap sunglasses for plastic ponchos as they march through the streets of Kensington
One reveller mounts someone’s car which is covered in painted handprints and splashes of colour
Umbrellas up! Revellers party through town with their umbrellas up and ponchos on
Visitors wear rain ponchos on the first day of the Notting Hill Carnival
Former X-factor winner Alexandra Burke officially opened the two-day as its first ever ambassador for the past year
Metropolitan Police officers exercised their stop and search powers in the rain at the Carnival today
Huge crowds of police are seen on duty of the first day on the carnival as one million people are expected to go today
A performer takes part in the Notting Hill Carnival Family Day in Londo
Visitors dance in the rain on the first day of the Notting Hill Carnival
Two women shelter from the rain wrapped in a flag before the Notting Hill Carnival Family Day
Performers take part in the carnival by jumping and dancing in elaborate costumes
People with paint guns spray and cover each other in paint as the revelry begins
A man dances to drums before the Notting Hill Carnival Family Day
Reveller dance in the street early this morning on Ladbroke Grove in west London. The festival opened with J’ouvert, a large street party to celebrate Caribbean cultures
Paint and paint powder is thrown at the festival as one man tries to stop passersby
Festival goers pose after getting covered in paint at the festival
Singer Alexandra Burke, named today as the carnival’s first ever ambassador, carried out her first duty in the role by opening this year’s event.
Burke described it as ‘a privilege’ and just a bit ‘nuts’ to be a carnival ambassador.
It is a year-long role as the voice of carnival to help promote the community spirit and positive aspects surrounding the annual event.
She recalled going to carnival as a child with her family and said: ‘The one thing that stands out for me about carnival is bringing the community together. It is people coming together and having a fantastic time.
‘It is just about a good vibe, good music, good food and amazing people around you.
‘So have the best day no matter what the weather is saying.’
Notting Hill Carnival becomes a sea of orange as revellers are covered in paint with ripped t-shirts describing the apocalypse
The event is expected to attract more than one million revellers to its floats, food stalls and music to the famous borough
Neon dust and paint fill the air at the carnival just in time for the wild partying in the evening
At 3pm the music stopped for a 72-second silence in tribute to the 72 people who died following the fire at Grenfell Tower in June 2017.
One of the DJ’s playing at the festival slammed some revellers for not staying silent, telling them to not come back tomorrow.
The tower block is within half-a-mile of the parade route.
The silence was broken at the Rampage sound stage, just off Colville Square, with cheers, whistles and the booming voice of the late Aretha Franklin singing Respect.
Revellers had been asked to show respect and some, including Notting Hill Carnival Limited executive director Matthew Phillip, wore something green for Grenfell in tribute.