Over one million spectators flock to the capital’s centre for the London New Year’s Day Parade, a huge street event involving over 8,500 performers and artists. Since 1987, the Parade has become an important part of London’s new year celebrations. Starting off at Piccadilly, US marching bands, cheerleaders, acrobats and clowns join the floats prepared by each London borough as they parade past central London’s famous landmarks. This year, you’ll be able to see genuine NYPD police cars, the Queen’s horses, life-size transformers as well as London’s very own Pearly Kings & Queens strutting their stuff all the way to Big Ben. The parade theme for 2017 is Lights, Camera, Action!
The Parade starts at 12 noon at Piccadilly and continues down Lower Regent Street to Whitehall and Trafalgar Square, ending at Parliament Street. The parade is free to attend but if you’d like to make sure you catch all of the performers, it may be wise to invest in a ticket for one of the three seated grandstand areas near the beginning and end of the route. Tickets for the grandstand cost £35 and you can buy them here. To get to the start of the route, your nearest tube station is Green Park but, due to the expected crowds, it may be a good idea to travel to a station which is slightly further away, such as Hyde Park Corner, and walk up to the start of the parade.
The Parade is a very family-friendly event and there’ll be plenty to see for younger and older members alike. Make sure you catch the American high school marching bands, always a favourite at the parade, with some troupes made up of over 100 members. Another highlight is the Borough Competition, with each London borough preparing a performance, float or act in a bid to win a share of the £40,000 pot which will go to charities within that borough. Last year’s winner, Hillingdon, won with their entry ‘Dreams Come True in Hillingdon’.
Where to stay in London for the London New Year’s Day Parade
Make the most of your visit to London by making sure you stay in the perfect rental accommodation for you. At Eventful Stays, you can choose to stay in townhouses, flats, studios, B&Bs, spare rooms or boats…all within easy reach of the city centre. Check out our accommodation in London.
When planning your trip to London, make sure you leave plenty of time to explore everything this great city has to offer: see one of the world’s best skylines from above on the London Eye; grab a vintage bargain in the city’s famous Camden Market; and take a cruise past London Zoo on Regent’s Canal.
To find out more information about the New Year’s Day parade, please head to the official website, where you’ll be able to find out about the history of the parade, view the route map and find out how to buy grandstand tickets.
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