The capital celebrated the arrival of 2023 with a colourful event dubbed by Toploader, one of the bands making an appearance, as the ‘perfect hangover cure’.
It was the first time the gathering was able to take place in full since the Covid pandemic hit in 2020.
There was a jovial mood as marching bands, cheerleaders, pearly kings and queens, dancers, drummers, cycling clubs and giant balloons lined the streets on Sunday.
The three-and-a-half-hour parade started in Piccadilly and moved to Parliament Square.
There are about 20 nations represented among the acts – including China, Peru, Colombia, Brazil and others from the US, UK and Europe.
An El Salvadorian band who travelled from the rain forest also captured crowds’ attention today.
Just 600 ticket holders were allowed to attend a clipped-back parade in 2022, as worry over Covid plagued Britain.
The parade has ‘raised billions for London and the UK as a whole’ over the years, along with £2 million for London charities, organisers say.
Founder Bob Bone has helped turn it into an annual tradition since the inaugural event in 1987.
Mr Bone said: ‘This year the parade is back to its brilliant best.
‘We are delighted to see that so many performers have travelled from around the world.
‘This is the first mass gathering of the parade since Covid. This is the first time since 2020 we have had a parade.
‘It is amazing. It is what we do. It is what we love and it gives London this incredible opportunity to showcase itself to the world, to give the world a wave and say “come on over”.’
Summing up the ‘hugely cosmopolitan carnival’, Mr Bone added: ‘It’s culture, colour and terrific fun.’
It comes after London welcomed in the New Year with a stunning fireworks display at midnight.
Mayor Sadiq Khan said there was ‘no better place to welcome in the New Year than London’.
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