Reasons You Should Be At The Kingston Carnival

Kingston Carnival, London -

I planned to go to Notting Hill Carnival this year however as it was the happening on the same weekend that we moved into our Kingston apartment, I wasn’t able to find the time to do so. Little did I know that Kingston has its own Kingston Carnival which happens one week after Notting Hill’s, every first Sunday of September and so I geared up and was determined not to miss it.

Kingston Carnival, London -

As a London and Kingston newbie, it was quite hard for me to search for detailed information about the carnival as it seems like it’s not very well-covered on the internet. There were no articles about the previous carnivals (although based on my research the carnival last year was cancelled) so I had to rely mostly on conflicting information I found on different websites (what time is the parade really going to start?!?).

Anyway, this blog post will hopefully help me be reminded next year of what to expect from Kingston Carnival as I do plan on attending it again. This also might help other people out there who plan on doing so.

1. Celebrate diversity!

This year saw Kingston’s Carnival’s 15th celebration which focuses on the cultural diversity of the borough. Local groups and local communities are encouraged to represent their nation through this carnival. Attending this event made me realize that Kingston is also a melting pot of all nations, just like Dubai and Doha where I lived.

Kingston Carnival, London -

2. Fun and colorful parade!

Colorful costumes, native dance and sounds from across the world were showcased during the parade. On top of that, everyone’s welcome to join so at some point, I found myself in the middle of the whole procession taking close-up photos of the participants who were all more than happy to smile for the camera.

Kingston Carnival, London -

3. It’s a taste of Notting Hill Carnival but a more family-oriented one.

I had no idea how chaotic the Notting Hill Carnival actually is. I only knew about it after seeing so many articles written about what went on during this year’s carnival. Kingston Carnival on the other hand focused more on family-oriented festivity which made it all the more enjoyable as you don’t have to worry about drunk people stumbling all over.

4. Live entertainment!

The main market square was transformed into a mini concert arena with performances from local groups and bands. Another stage was set at the High Street with performances from diverse local groups around Kingston.

Kingston Carnival, London -

5. Food!

My second favorite part of the Kingston Carnival was the numerous food stalls scattered around the area. True to its mission, the food stalls was also as diverse as the carnival itself with cuisines from all around the world. Walking around the market place made me hungry even if I’ve just eaten breakfast when I arrived and I simply can’t pass up the chance on trying out one of the stalls. Too bad the stall owner gave me GBP5 less as a change so I basically ate a GBP10-worth of bratwurst, which I think was waaaaay too expensive.

Music, colors, extravaganza and lots of food in a family-friendly and festive atmosphere – that’s what Kingston Carnival promised and delivered it spectacularly! Can’t wait for the next year’s event.

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Kingston Carnival, London - Pinay Flying High


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  • Tanja (the Red phone box travels) September 17, 2016 at 15:52

    very colourful!looks fun!
    Tanja (the Red phone box travels) recently posted…Monthly Blog Overview:August 2016My Profile

  • Sydney Fashion Hunter September 10, 2016 at 01:21

    I’ve been to London a few times but never heard of the Kingston festival. Fantastic photos. I love all the colour and the food looks amazing!
    Sydney Fashion Hunter recently posted…Olive Cowl Neck Top: Fresh Fashion Linkup 49My Profile

    • Pinay Flying High September 10, 2016 at 12:29

      You should schedule your next London visit around the date of this festival then. :p

  • PINAYSKATTEBASSE September 9, 2016 at 13:52

    Wow the food! I just noticed most of the people in the photos really had good angles. It seems to me they are expecting photographers on site, they are well prepared with their smiles and waves… 😀
    PINAYSKATTEBASSE recently posted…Visit & Explore DenmarkMy Profile

    • Pinay Flying High September 10, 2016 at 12:30

      Yes! That’s why I loved it! The festival was a small one so you really get to interact with everyone in the parade! They are definitely ready with their smiles and picture-perfect pose. Lol.

  • Maja | Mexatia September 9, 2016 at 11:28

    Such a colorful and fun carnival! I would like to hear more about it – it surprises me that is organized in September. Carnival season here is usually in February so there must be some story behind it. 🙂

    • Pinay Flying High September 10, 2016 at 12:32

      Lol, the Notting Hill Carnival happens every last Sunday of August and the Kingston Carnival followed suit which happens every first Sunday of September. For sure one of the reasons is that so it won’t coincide with the bigger carnival but why September? Not really sure. Lol.

  • blondemoments September 9, 2016 at 09:27

    wow! i have never had heard about that before! damn i missed that! i ll be in london in a few weeks only ! i hope you had fun
    blondemoments recently posted…BUDWEISMy Profile

  • Clare September 8, 2016 at 19:36

    It looks like great fun. I have never been to a carnival in the UK. I maybe need to get myself organised and get down to London to see one 🙂

    • Pinay Flying High September 10, 2016 at 12:34

      I’ve never traveled for a carnival before but that sure sounds like a great idea. :p

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    Welcome to my blog! My name is Noemi, a Filipina who caught the travel bug at an early age and has never been cured. I blog about travel, food and my extraordinary mundane life in London with the Greek Mister.

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