Notting Hill Carnival 2017: Performers put on colourful display as festival opens in glorious sunshine

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Beaming revellers have taken to the streets of west London in a colourful display of music and dancing as the 51st Notting Hill Carnival gets underway.

Joyful images of dance groups and musicians emerged on Sunday afternoon amid the annual festival’s family day parade.

Millions of people are expected to flock to the event which celebrates Caribbean and West Indian culture in the capital.

Performers donned brightly coloured outfits as they paraded through the streets of Notting Hill in glorious sunshine and sizzling temperatures.

Sadiq Khan and Labour MP Emma Kent Doad with revellers (AFP/Getty Images)

The parade kicked off following a poignant memorial to those killed in the Grenfell Tower blaze.

Sadiq Khan joined faith and community leaders in releasing doves into the sky at the start of the parade route which stands in the shadow of the burnt out husk of the building.

Carnival-goers at the traditional opening ceremony (Getty Images)

The Mayor of London spoke at the opening of the festival and said this year’s event “takes place in the context of sadness and sorrow”.

He added: “So this carnival weekend, we honour the victims.”

Performers passing the blackened high-rise have been encouraged to lower their music volume and walk respectfully in memory of those who died in the inferno.

At 3pm on both days hundreds of thousands of revellers along the route are expected to pause and observe a minute’s silence to mark the tragedy, in which at least 80 people died.

Performers open the Family Day parade (PA)

Organisers are encouraging attendees to wear or accessorise in “green for Grenfell” in a display of “reverence and respect amidst the revelry”.

There will be a reflection zone near the tower and posters have been put up asking the public not to take photographs “at the site of our great loss” – an activity which has distressed locals since the fire two months ago.

Doves released in poignant moment of remembrance for Grenfell Tower victims

Police said a dedicated area would be put in place for people to leave tributes without obstructing the carnival flow.

According to the Met, there is no specific counter-terrorism intelligence but security plans had been “thoroughly reviewed” following the attack in Barcelona earlier this month, in which 15 people died after being hit by a van.

Overall policing numbers will stay the same as last year, with around six to seven thousand officers on duty each day.

Additional reporting by Press Association.

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