If you fancy a bit of razzmatazz for your New Year, this will be the 23rd London Parade – and what a way to go!
Okay, maybe cheerleaders are not your thing. And they’re not mine, though faced with the enthusiasm shown by the girl in the photo, I might have to change my mind a bit!
But the great thing is that this is a very British parade. And that means it will be stuffed full of all kinds of eccentric and offbeat entries, as well as cheerleaders from the UK and US.
Each London Borough is entering, with diverse themes – one promises an undersea adventure with an ecological theme, whatever that might be. There will be the Arapahoe High School Warrior Marching Band.
But the Donkey Breed Society will also be strutting its stuff, presumably with the assistance of four legged friends.
The London Pearly Kings and Queens will be adding a traditional Cockney note to the proceedings. And if you haven’t seen Pearlies before, you’ll be amazed by their outlandish, glittering costumes.
A more rural vision of England is what you prefer? Well you’ll get the Merrydowners Morris, dancing their way from one end of the parade to the other.
Still another facet of traditional British life is shown by the Goldwing Owners Club of Great Britain, with their lovingly tended bikes.
And the parade also, apparently, features Yaksha – the King! A fearsome chappie who comes from the Karnataka tradition of Indian dance. (His web site is a bit out of date though.)
The parade will start at noon from Westminster, and the tail end of the procession will arrive in Green Park at quarter to three in the afternoon. You can watch from anywhere along the route – up Parliament Street, then up Cockspur Street and Pall Mall, turning up Regent Street to Piccadilly, and along Piccadilly to Green Park.
There will be professional commentators at a number of different spots – or you can pick up the free newspaper printed by the organisers so you know who you’re watching.
Photo credit: Damien Everett on Flickr