In all the years and all the events, I’ve done I have to say that the 2020 London New Years Day Parade was one of the best. I had done a few carnivals before and they were hard work for hours crawling along, but being a Londoner and funny enough, I used to work right where the start point was, it was great to be back in the West End for a day. It is an amazing City and its atmosphere and diversity are the best in the world.
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I drove in down Park Lane, wanting to stop outside BMW Park Lane, but it’s all Red Zone and you just don’t know whether a camera will give you an “illegally parked” ticket and automatically send you a fine, so sadly I didn’t get a photo opportunity.
As I turned around the corner from Marble Arch into Piccadilly, I was told where to park. Luckily, I found Franc Falco’s lovely Fjord Blue 2002 Targa and was told to double-park there. After a cuppa in the old Shepherds Market we went back to the cars.
Even some of the groups and bands from the United States had flown over to be part of it. The parade was also televised live in the U.S. and it had massive exposure and publicity.
We set off around 1:15PM and, to be honest, it wasn’t at the slow speed I anticipated. From the start point the crowds lined both sides of the road, ten deep in some key viewing areas. Yes, we did stop from time to time, but at least it wasn’t constantly slipping the clutch for hours upon hours.
We headed off down Piccadilly, then Regent Street, Pall Mall, past Downing Street and then, finally, past the Houses of Parliament, taking about two and half hours end to end.
Everyone was waving and cheering, on both sides of the road. I have never seen so many people and obviously cameras were busy filming us. In the Porsche 928 in front was famous cricket bowler Monty Panesar.
The event was live on TV, but I found out later you didn’t even get a glimpse of us sadly, it all focused on the Bands, Floats and Cheerleaders. Eight thousand people actually took place in the event.
The only cars you briefly saw were MINIs, Rolls-Royces for a split second and some American cars. We hope to be back next year, bigger and stronger in numbers.
Big thank you to the organizers for inviting us to participate in this fantastic event.