A Magical Weekend Thames Festival & Night Carnival


What an impression the sensational Thames Festival made on London life this September enhancing the lingering, late summer. We've followed the Festival from its conception and seen it grow bigger and better. This year the 10th anniversary of this multicultural Festival was celebrated in spectacular style with a flurry of activity stretching from Hungerford Bridge to Tower Bridge. Stages, stalls, Arts & artists, musicians, performers of all description entertained swarms along the South Bank.

For the grand Sunday Night Carnival visitors followed the procession of effervescent dancers happily dancing the samba across Waterloo Bridge!
Victoria Embankment heaved with the Carnival route lined on both sides with excited spectators. I stood on an island in the middle of the (closed) road camera in hand opposite the moored Queen Mary with Waterloo Bridge to my left and bubbly Bolivian dancers in front of me when I heard yelps of excitement and to my surprise saw the Mayor Ken Livingstone amidst the dancers. I reacted swiftly and seized the photo opportunity (battery low) and in a flash managed to take photos of a beaming Ken donning a beautiful Bolivian headdress - quite an exclusive!

The thrilling, non-stop one hour extravaganza burst onto the Embankment bringing entertainment and pageant delighting everyone, some watched the spectacle below from Waterloo Bridge.
The Night Carnival rocked with the exciting sound of samba and the City's beats, bands and rhythm. Fantasy came to life - dancers, singers including many performing children dazzled us in their fantastic costumes. Amazed, we watched the parade of enchanting floats, even a mechanical trumpeting elephant pounded the Embankment along with a red- eyed scary metallic dragon spelling trouble. A dome-shaped musical palanquin appeared and an Indian dancer on a raised platform performed poetic Kathak moves.

Angels and celestial butterflies with delicate, lacey wings the size of small aircraft swung from side to side. The spectre of Confucius dipped it seemed in whitewash from head to toe paused for a moment in front of us followed by illuminated Chinese lanterns and a monumental big-bellied, bopping Buddha shimmered in gold.
Bikers, riders and people in fancy dress masqueraded on stilts making it a truly fabulous Festival and Carnival enjoyed by all in its tenth year.

By Amita Chatterji ©


Ken Livingstone Mayor of London with Bolivian Dancers

Click below for further fantastic photos http://www.pukkapr.com/gallery/view.aspx?cat=Thames%20Festival%20and%20Night%20Carnival

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