What's on in London on New Year's Day – Lord Mayor's Parade
New Year’s Day celebrations in London kicks off each year with the Lord Mayor’s Parade. This huge 3-hour parade starts at 12 noon in Parliament Square and finishes at Berkeley Street on Piccadilly. The Parade takes the following route:
Parliament Square, Whitehall, Trafalgar Square, Pall Mall, Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus and then up to the junction of Berkeley Street on Piccadilly .
More than 10,000 performers representing 20 countries world-wide participate in the parade. More than half a million spectators flock into London’s most famous streets to see this fantastic spectacle as it weaves its way along the 3.2 km route. Vantage points near the start of the parade can be tight, however, if you walked a little further down the route you should be able to get a good viewing spot.
Every year since 1995 each of London’s 31 boroughs, along with the City of Westminster, are invited to put forward an entry into the Parade. This can be an act, a float, or some other form of entertainment or exhibit that symbolises a facet of their borough. Apart from providing entertainment and ushering in the New year, the Parade is also held for a very good course. Each entry from a London borough is competing for a huge prize pot of cash that is donated by the Parade to charities nominated by the Mayors of the winning boroughs. Since the inception of the Parade the event has raised or donated well over a million pounds to local and national charities.
Well, full marks to the performers who put on a great show and with such enthusiasm even though some of their uniform mustn’t be very warm. Certainly by the end of the parade our hands were quite frozen from taking snaps and it was a huge relief to run our hands under hot water back in the hotel.
Note: If planning to be in London on New Year’s Eve/Day, hotels in the centre of London can be quite full as many of the performers and their families stay in town on the eve of the parade.