The annual London New Year's Day Parade features 10,000 performers representing 20 countries, including Pearly Kings and Queens, cheerleaders, marching bands, dancers and representatives from West End shows. The American-style extravaganza of musicians – a number of bands from the USA fly over to take part – dancers, acrobats, clowns and floats twirl, march and drum a 2.2-mile route beginning at the Ritz Hotel, taking in Piccadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street, Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall and Big Ben, with temporary grandstands erected for better viewing in some places. Arrive early to secure a good vantage point, especially if you're taking small children, as more than half a million people are expected to line the streets for this twenty-seventh New Year's Day Parade. A key part of the parade is 'The Let's Help London Challenge', in which all of the 32 London boroughs compete for a share of a prize pot to distribute among their chosen charities. Boroughs enter the parade with an act, float or other form of entertainment which is judged by an international panel comprising foreign ambassadors and high commissioners. The theme for 2013 is 'Hats Off to London – Celebration Capital of the World'.
New Year's Day Parade 2013