UK

Notting Hill Carnival To Hold Minute's Silence In Memory Of Grenfell Victims

More than a million people are expected to attend.

02/08/2017 18:35 BST

A minute’s silence will be held during this year’s Notting Hill Carnival to remember the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, which claimed the lives of at least 80 people. 

Organisers have announced that the celebrations at the annual west London event will stop at 3pm on August 28 to mark the tragedy.

Despite controversy surrounding the decision to go ahead with the celebrations, chairman Pepe Francis said it “feels right” that the carnival continues.

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A minute’s silence will be held during this year’s Notting Hill Carnival in memory of the Grenfell Tower victims.

Francis confirmed to HuffPost UK that the minute’s silence will give people a chance to show respect for those who are grieving.

He told the BBC: “We don’t pretend we can give solace. But we can, and will, offer respect and solidarity.” 

The popular festivities will take place over two days, on August 27 and 28, and traditionally attracts more than a million people over the bank holiday weekend. 

The carnival is the biggest event of its kind in Europe, with colourful floats, performers and loud music taking over the streets in north Kensington.

Last month, London mayor Sadiq Khan rejected calls for the carnival to be moved from its current venue in the wake of the tragedy.

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At least 80 people died in the Grenfell Tower fire.

Greg Hands, minister for London, tweeted a letter which read: “The carnival is an important and symbolic community celebration in our capital’s calendar, and one greatly valued and enjoyed by both Londoners and visitors alike. Clearly it must go ahead.

“However, we have to ask ourselves if it is appropriate to stage a carnival in the near proximity of a major national disaster. I would like you to consider moving the location, and/or the (Greater London Authority), with its experience of running major events, taking over the carnival, in conjunction with the current organisers.”

Khan replied that the carnival was a “firm London tradition and incredibly important to the local community”.

“It should not be moved,” the London mayor said. 

He added: “The Notting Hill carnival is one of the world’s biggest street festivals and has become a firm London tradition over many decades. It was born out of the African-Caribbean immigrant community in north Kensington and Notting Hill in the 1950s, and it’s only right that this remains its home.”