London’s New Year’s Day Parade Extravaganza

If you’re in London on New Year’s Day, make sure you don’t miss the world-famous parade that attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators and over a million live TV viewers across the globe. With 10,000 performers from around the world taking part, the parade has gained international acclaim during its 28 years and has raised more than £1.5 million for an assortment of London charities.

With the parade route located just a 10-minute walk from Strand Palace Hotel, it is the perfect way to shake off the previous night’s hangover. So peel yourself out of bed, grab a takeaway coffee on the way and find a good spot on the side of the road in Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall or Parliament Square for the spectacle. The parade is free of charge and open to all.

A bit of history

London’s New Year’s Day Parade made its debut in 1987 as ‘The Lord Mayor of Westminster’s Big Parade’ in front of some slightly baffled spectators along Berkeley Street, Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street and Oxford Street. With its 2,000-or-so performers, it turned what was traditionally a gloomy, quiet day into what is now one of the world’s biggest New Year’s Day events. Up to 10,000 performers from across continents take part, performing dance, acrobats, cheerleading and music, and the event has become a colourful, extravagant tradition. As it is just a 10-minute walk from the parade’s route, our staff at Strand Palace Hotel encourage guests to go check it out.

The parade’s charitable side

Over the past 28 years, London’s New Year’s Day Parade and Festival has raised over £1.5 million for a variety of London charities. The ‘Let’s Help London Challenge’ was introduced in 1996, with each London Borough entering the parade and competing for a charity prize fund.

There have been a variety of gala concerts in the lead-up to the 2015 New Year’s Day Parade, including jazz bands, classical music and choirs. The performances raise funds for London charities and are hosted at different venues in central London. You can find the events here.

What you need to know

The 29th annual parade starts at midday on Piccadilly at the junction and takes in some of London’s major landmarks, including Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey. The convoy will pass through Whitehall, which is a short 10-minute walk from Strand Palace Hotel, and ends in Parliament Square at 3.30pm, which is a 15-minute walk from Strand Palace.

The parade is completely free to watch, except for grandstand seats, which can be purchased on the parade website.

If you want to celebrate the New Year in style and are looking for a hotel near the New Year’s Day Parade route, Strand Palace Hotel is the perfect choice.

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