London New Year’s Day Parade

Start your year with a bang at London's spectacular New Year's Day Parade! Peter Gray reports.

-London's Best Events-

The London New Year’s Day Parade is now in its 32nd year with over a million people lining the streets of central London to see the 2019 event.

The parade has been growing in size and significance since it began in 1987 and with more than 8,000 performers taking part in this year’s celebration, it is certainly worth a trip to central London.

Some of the highlights of the 2019 show were the Pearly Kings and Queens, the baton wielding cheerleaders, the American marching bands and the giant inflatables. This year’s event also included a breathtaking demonstration of motorcycle acrobatics.

The route skirts many of London’s most iconic landmarks and there are photo opportunities galore with cheerleaders, marching bands, vintage vehicles and giant inflatables amongst the many attractions.

The event begins at Piccadilly (if you are there early enough you might catch some of the bands warming up on the streets around Mayfair) before heading towards Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square and then down Whitehall before finishing at Westminster.

The parade has a real international flavour with over 20 countries taking part in the 2018 event including over 21 marching bands from the US alone. The event is also a big draw on tv worldwide with a global audience of 300 million tuning in. The 2018 event was beamed by satellite to over 600 TV stations worldwide making it the biggest outside broadcast in Britain.

If you want a good view of the action, I’d advise you to arrive early as the route does get pretty busy as the starting time approaches. You also have the option of booking seats in one of the temporary grandstands erected along the route. For details of how to book please check the website of the event.

However, if you’d like to come along but you’re worried that you won’t be up in time, the parade doesn’t get started until noon, so there’s plenty of time to sleep off that hangover!

The London New Year’s Day Parade begins at 12pm on the 1st January 2022.

-London's Best Events-
What: NYD festival
When: 1st Jan 2020 12pm
Where: Picadilly
Website: lnydp