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New Year's Day parade's silver celebration

The New Year's Day parade - London, marks a major milestone on January 1st - its silver anniversary.

Cheerleaders from the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) from Memphis, Tennessee dance at the parade in 2002.
Cheerleaders from the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) from Memphis, Tennessee dance at the parade in 2002.

Executive Director, Bob Bone, who to this day masterminds the event, is a living example of someone who doesn't take no for an answer.

Twenty-five years ago many parents were wrapping up a Sony Walkman or a Cabbage Patch Doll perhaps, but for Bob it was different.

"Well, I was busy biting my nails, fielding calls from across the world on a mobile phone heavier than a hod of bricks - in the final countdown to the very first New Year's Day parade," Bob says.

New Year's Day Parade Executive Director, Bob Bone.
New Year's Day Parade Executive Director, Bob Bone

"Twelve months beforehand my wife and fellow parade director Geri tried to give the kids a fun day out in London on 1 January only to find, museums, theatres, cinemas, restaurants and most of the shops closed for the duration.

"We decided then and there not to merely moan - but to do something about it!

"Believe me there were many doubters that said point blank that it couldn't be done.

"Despite the fact we have had not had a penny of public funding down the decades - we have generated an estimated £500m for the economy of the capital along the way.

VIDEO: NEW YEAR'S PARADE
You can watch the whole of the parade on demand, just click on the link below.

"It might have had a slightly different name and a slightly different route but on 1 January 1987 a few hundred hearty souls 'first footed' on the road to creating a great London tradition."

"And 25 years on - although I must admit there have been times along the way where I have yearned to have Christmas off - that same sense of nervous excitement is still overwhelming."

Global parade

Pride in our achievement, pride in our performers - pride for those that have supported us down the decades - and pride in our great city.
Bob Bone, Executive Director, New Year's parade

Now the event is recognised as the biggest of its kind anywhere in the world featuring up to 10,000 performers and most of London's boroughs.

The parade showcases talented young musicians from all corners of the world.

The event regularly draws more than 500,000 on to the streets - and is viewed live on TV in a global satellite broadcast.

Bob says: "Yes we have had headaches in terms of global events, the logistical issues involved and a maze of red tape but the all purveying emotion in the run up to our 25th event is pride.

"Pride in our achievement, pride in our performers - pride for those that have supported us down the decades - and pride in our great city.

"See you on New Year's Day."




SEE ALSO
Parade band stranded by blizzards
29 Dec 10 |  London
NYE fireworks plans confirmed
09 Dec 10 |  Things to do

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