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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 August 2006, 08:12 GMT 09:12 UK
Carnival expansion plan discussed
The parade snakes though the streets of Notting Hill
More than 50,000 performers were involved in Monday's event
Next year's Notting Hill Carnival may be expanded, organisers of the west London event have said.

They have been in talks with London's mayor over incorporating the Caribbean Showcase event he set up in Hyde Park on August Bank Holiday Monday.

This could also involve changing the traditional parade route so that it finishes in the central London park.

About 800,000 revellers attended this year's carnival and about 20,000 went to the Caribbean Showcase.

The showcase, which began last year and is aimed at families with young children, has infuriated some organisers who say mayor Ken Livingstone is trying to undermine the carnival.

Mr Livingstone has said the narrow streets of Notting Hill are too cramped and dangerous for the crowds.

Future success

But now he has approached Notting Hill Carnival Limited (NHCL) in a bid to co-organise the two events.

A spokesman for the mayor said he welcomed "any opportunity for constructive discussions about how to build on carnival's success for the future".

Professor Chris Mullard, Chairman of the NHCL, told BBC London: "We have made it very clear to the mayor's office that we would like to do it, provided the 300,000, which is how much it [the Caribbean Showcase] costs, is in place, and we have complete artistic direction for the whole event."

A dancer at the Notting Hill Carnival

He added: "The route will stay in Notting Hill. The event will continue in much the same way as it has done.

"There will be discussions about extending the route, inevitably, because as the numbers increase we will have to look at that."

Police said the 42nd Notting Hill Carnival was largely trouble free. They made 275 carnival-related arrests over the weekend, mostly for drug-related and public order offences.

Organisers said more than 50,000 performers were involved in Monday's event, traditionally the busiest day of carnival.

Revellers flocked to the area to watch as a parade of 84 floats, complete with flamboyantly-dressed performers, made its way along a three-and-a-half-mile route through Notting Hill.

Police said at least 300,000 people were on the streets for Sunday's family-orientated Children's Day.

Event organisers put the figure for Sunday at 500,000.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Colourful costumes at the carnival



SEE ALSO
In pictures: Notting Hill Carnival
28 Aug 06 |  In Pictures
Notting Hill Carnival under way
27 Aug 06 |  London
In pictures: Carnival Children's Day
27 Aug 06 |  In Pictures

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