Europe's largest street festival has sneaked up on London this year. Not only have we been a bit distracted with all things sporting, there's been very little news from Carnival and not a lot of information available about it. But it's happening this weekend, so:
Here is some useful information about Notting Hill Carnival 2012:
Sunday 26 August is children's day with smaller floats and costume awards. Bank Holiday Monday 27 August is for grown ups with the main Carnival procession. Carnival bands will take to the roads from around 9am each day and the Carnival parade should complete by about 7pm.
Transport for London have a dedicated Carnival page online with advice on the best ways to get to Notting Hill.
There's a free Notting Hill Carnival app (for iPhone and Android) which tells you where the Sound Systems are, what genres of music they will be playing and how to get to them. It gives you the carnival route and will help you locate food stalls, ambulance services and toilets.
You can also download maps from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea website and find a list of public loos. There's also information about the massive clean up operation that begins minutes after Carnival closes.
Some events happening around Carnival:
The British Association of Steelbands presents the UK 2012 National Panorama steelband competition on Saturday 25 August from 7-10pm in Hornimans Pleasance Park, Kensal Road W10. Free entry.
Paraiso School of Samba warm up for Carnival with free music and dancing in the Royal Festival Hall on Saturday night from 7.30pm.
The Tabernacle hosts a Carnival Village on Sunday, welcoming all ages with a BBQ, bars, Steel bands, Soca & Calypso Music and those all important toilets from 9am-10pm (£2 wristband all day).
The Gate Picturehouse is showing late night screenings of documentary, Marley at 11.15pm Fri/Sat/Sun (£12.50).
Check TimeOut for a list of Carnival warm-up and after-parties.
Please tip us off to other events in the comments.
Top tips from our readers:
Never been to Carnival? We asked our Facebook community for their tips on how to enjoy it. About 50% of responses said to avoid it, but others who shared experiences and offered advice were passionate fans of the event. Read all comments here. Here are some of the more useful ones:
Kerry Jean Lister: Get there early, don't wear stupid shoes, take a hipflask rather than drinking beer (or you'll spend most of your time in a loo queue) and earplugs are essential if you're going to Aba Shanti...
Carolyn Redfern: Take your own food & drink if you are watching the pennies. Also take as little valuables with you as possible.
Oliver Reynolds Gili: Don't bring a backpack, because frankly it's annoying to be accidentally shoved by backpacks, and because it's probably going to be unzipped by unscrupulous partygoers as you make your way through the very packed choke points.
Den Harrow: Camilla's Crucial Roti-hut on Westbourne Park Road.
Riina Sulonen: Start from Westbourne Grove and do a round trip via Portobello Road and Golborne Road back to Westbourne Park. Wear a smile, sensible shoes, eat, drink and enjoy yourselfl. Use residents' portaloos - great one last year was in Oxford/Cambridge Gardens that was cleaned after each use and even smelled good. I'm definitely going and very excited about the carnival :)
Kat Heath: Carry water and be prepared to queue for the porta loo.
Robert Ander Lugg: Take a cool bag with your own booze, get in the queue for the loos as soon as you think you might need it and don't wait until busting, enjoy a bit of mas (the procession) but ultimately head to Kensal as most of the best sound-systems are just off Kensal Road and environs.
Sara Evans: Stay up the north end - good times and sancho panza are the best!
Minkess Ebenn Erajee: sunglasses + camera + vodka and redbull + friends.
Peter Benjamin: Its SanchoPanza and GoodTimes with mates, beers and a leaky poncho for me, as come rain or shine, life is for living and it doesn't get much better than receiving an invite from a proud west London community to join them and party together as one.
The Notting Hill Carnival is on Sunday 26 and Monday 27 August 2012.
Photo by Mitul Vadgama via the Londonist Flickrpool.