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Last Updated: Friday, 29 July 2005, 17:04 GMT 18:04 UK
Bombings influence carnival theme
Children in costume at carnival
The Notting Hill Carnival has been taking place for more than 40 years
The theme of this year's Notting Hill Carnival will be "unity and diversity", in the wake of the London bombings.

The 41st carnival on the August Bank Holiday weekend will be the culmination of a month-long series of events.

But London's mayor Ken Livingstone also launched details for his Caribbean Showcase, which will take place on the same weekend in Hyde Park.

Critics say his event will detract from the carnival and affect the west London street party financially.

Launching the event, Chairman of the London Notting Hill Carnival Board, Chris Mullard, said: "The 7 July changed London in many respects but the one aspect that will never change is the strength of this city, its diversity, and nothing embodies this better than the Notting Hill Carnival.

We cannot pretend that London has not faced great challenges in recent weeks
Chris Mullard

"The 2005 Notting Hill Carnival will be a celebration. A celebration of the diversity of this great city and the strength and unity that flows from that.

"We cannot pretend that London has not faced great challenges in recent weeks but the way this city has responded shows a shared spirit that will be hard to shake."

But Mr Mullard did raise concerns about the mayor's Caribbean Showcase.

"People are already asking questions about the efficacy of holding this event in Hyde Park," he told BBC News.

The Caribbean Showcase in Hyde Park is designed to complement the spirit of carnival
London mayor Ken Livingstone

"And also perhaps the commitment even, of the mayor and the mayor's office, to the kind of multiculturalism that carnivalists at least want to express."

But Mr Livingstone said the fact it would be paying for the carnival's stewarding proved it was still committed to the west London street party and he also confirmed the Hyde Park event would not draw policing away from carnival.

"It [the Notting Hill Carnival] is one of the key events in London's calendar and eagerly anticipated by Londoners, as well as visitors to the capital," Mr Livingstone said.

He added that his office had been supporting the event since 2000 and had set up 'Carnival London', an initiative providing an "infrastructure, development and investment programme" designed solely for London's carnival arts sector.

"The Caribbean Showcase in Hyde Park is designed to complement the spirit of carnival," said Mr Livingstone.

The free Caribbean Showcase on 29 August has several zones featuring music, business, arts food and fashion and will run from noon to 1900 BST.


SEE ALSO:
Carnival arts centre 'to close'
24 Mar 05 |  London


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