Monday, 2 January 2017

London New Year's Parade: Thousands take part

New Year's Day performersImage copyrightPA
Image captionAn inflatable caricature of the Lord Mayor of London was part of the parade
More than 8,500 performers from 20 different countries have taken part in London's New Year's Day Parade.
The parade, from Green Park to Parliament Square, was broadcast on 600 TV stations across the world.
About 50,000 spectators were expected to watch the free event which had a film theme this year.
Among those taking part were three terminally ill young people from a hospice who were followed by two ambulances on the parade.
The event, which is in its 31st year, was originally created by Bob Bone and his wife Geri after they had wanted to take their children out on New Year's Day and found most museums, theatres, cinemas, restaurants and shops were closed.
Young person from St Christopher's HospiceImage copyrightBBC SPORT
Image captionYoung people from the St Christopher's Hospice helped decorate its Lion King-themed float
Dan Kirkby, communications director for the event, said it was a very "cosmopolitan event".
"We've got 17 London boroughs taking part plus 8,500 performers, about 4,000 of which have come in from the States as they've got a wonderful, magical marching band culture there and they've embraced this event fully," he said.
He said the event was estimated to bring in about £50m to £100m to the city, "giving Londoners a lovely lift".
St Christopher's Hospice in Sydenham, south London, was the only hospice to design floats and take part in the event.
The three young people from the hospice rode on a Lion King-themed float, which also included nurses, healthcare assistants and volunteers.
Dancers from the Pakistani delegation walk through confettiImage copyrightPA
Image captionDancers from the Pakistani delegation were among those who took part in the parade
Members of the Varsity All American Cheerleaders performImage copyrightAP
Image captionMembers of the Varsity All American Cheerleaders showed off their acrobatics in Trafalgar Square
Marcello Camus, community artist at the hospice, said: "Participating in this parade is amazing because for some of them it could be one of the last big things that they do in their life.
"Even leaving their house and commuting to the hospice can be exciting, never mind going to central London for the parade."
He added two of the young people said they felt like they were "part of a larger community, that they were represented, that they were being seen and that they were honouring the work of St Christopher's which is like a second home to them".
Performers on model steam trainsImage copyrightAFP
Image captionNot all performers walked the route - these participants used model steam engines
Marching bandImage copyrightHUW EVANS PICTURE AGENCY
Image captionAbout half of the performers in the parade were from the US
High school marching bandImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionThe event was shown on 600 TV stations
Children from Store Theatre in Hornchurch took partImage copyrightBBC SPORT
Image captionChildren from Store Theatre in Hornchurch took part