AS FAR birthday celebrations go, The Voice’s 34th anniversary was marked in colourful style at this year’s Notting Hill Carnival.
The annual festival, now in its 50th year, attracted over two million people over the course of two days and saw Britain’s biggest black newspaper join forces with vibrant costume band Candy Mas for two days of great music, food, dance and laughter.
The Candy Mas float, also sponsored by money transfer service Jamaica National and London’s Afropolitan radio station, ABN, was flanked by over 1000 dancers, who ‘chipped’ their way through the streets of Europe’s biggest street party.
Described as ‘London’s first black newspaper’, the first edition of The Voice, founded by Val McCalla and edited by Flip Fraser was handed out at Notting Hill Carnival in 1982 and was aptly branded as the ‘1982 Souvenir Carnival Edition’.
It was only right the publication returned to where it was first launched.
“It’s always a special occasion when we can celebrate our birthday at carnival,” The Voice’s sports and features editor Rodney Hinds said.
“The alliance between The Voice, Candy Mas, ABN and Jamaica National really worked in terms of presence on the float. Goody bags and regular shout outs from the Candy Mas team helped mark our special day in style. The spirit of carnival is still very much alive.”
Monday marked the Grand Finale of the event's 50th anniversary, which has this year hosted 60 bands and 38 sound systems.
Performers with amazing costumes marched the streets of Notting Hill with flamboyant styles on display as they danced along the carnival route to the hypnotic rhythms provided by the mobile sound systems or steel bands.
Annuar Aziz, a businessman from Malaysia, stumbled upon the event by accident with his wife and four young children while on holiday.
He told the Mail Online: “It's excellent. We are loving the free spirit of everyone and we have all been dancing.
“We didn't even know it was happening,” Mr Aziz, 41 explained.
“We heard the music from where we are staying in Bayswater and just followed the sound.”
The Carnival, celebrating Caribbean culture in London, was first held in the 1960s and now attracts visitors from all over the world.