New Years Parade in London sees dancers and bicycle stunt teams perform at a scaled-down event

Cultural dancers, motorcycle stunt teams and chart-topping singers wowed crowds as a scaled-down New Years parade returned to the streets of central London.

The Voice UK winner Molly Hocking, independent musician Michael Armstrong and West End star Marisha Wallace were among those who entertained a live audience at the event at Waterloo Place.

After being canceled last year due to coronavirus restrictions, the parade, which previously saw more than 600,000 people flooding the city center, was given a limit of 600 spectators.

Performers representing 22 countries and the 32 boroughs of London took to the stage just south of the Thames, rather than parading along the usual West End route between Piccadilly and Whitehall.

They included the samba reggae group Bloco Fogo, the City of London Brass Band and dancers from Stormtrooper Boogie Storm, as well as lions, dragons and drummers from the London Chinatown Chinese Association, as well as dinosaurs and monsters created by the designers of Creature Events.

Ahead of the parade, its executive director Bob Bone said it would be “very, very different” this year because of the coronavirus.

He told Sky News: “We’re really a TV show this year with a live audience.

“The audience has all the tickets and it’s full, it’s been a while, so don’t try to get in – but watch it on TV, it comes out at 1pm.”

Bolivian cultural dancers wait to perform at the London New Years Parade at Waterloo Place, London

(Stefan Rousseau / PA)

“We have loads of regular attendees at the shows in the arenas this year – marching bands, samba dancers, people from the Carnaval del Pueblo, with all Latin American countries represented.

“We took the advantage that we have this year of having a static arena based show by also building a stage in our arena so that we can bring in some very talented singers and dancers etc.”

He added: “We’re pretty sure it’s going to be a very, very exciting and hopefully successful event.”

Party-goers at the event also benefited from the hottest New Year on record as temperatures rose above 16 ° C.

A team of motorcycle stuntmen perform at the London New Years Parade at Waterloo Place, London

(Stefan Rousseau / PA)

A high of 16.2 ° C was recorded at St James’s Park, London on New Years Day, breaking the previous record of 15.6 ° C set at Bude, Cornwall, in 1916.

Mr Bone said that every year London boroughs compete for charity prizes and the event has raised ‘the best part of £ 2million’ for the capital’s charities over the years.

The New Years Parade in London was launched in 1987 and attendance peaked in 2020 when around 650,000 spectators took to the streets.

This year, viewers can watch the parade on the live London streaming service or through the parade website.

Additional reporting by the Press Association

James C. Tibbs