Facts & Figures
The first New Year’s Day Parade in London was on January 1st 1987, and it was called ‘The Lord Mayor of Westminster’s Big Parade’. The event featured about 2,000 performers, mostly marching bands, and meandered its way from Berkeley Street to Portland Place via Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, and Oxfords Circus. London had not seen anything like it before, and did not really quite know what to make of it. The hundred thousand or so spectators, though a bit puzzled, certainly seemed to enjoy themselves. Not surprising really when you consider that pre 1987 London on January 1st was a pretty gloomy place. If the shops opened it was only for half a day, most restaurants did not bother to open at all, and even many of the theatres could not see much point in presenting a performance. A successful repeat in 1988, and then some big changes in 1989 when the ever popular cheerleaders made their first appearance in the Parade, the first of the now prestigious and popular concerts was performed, and the organiser’s started dabbling with the concept of a Parade Finale Arena. Highlights in 1992 and 1993 were incredible Finale Performances by every band and musical ensembles in the Parade in the Royal Albert Hall. How we ever pulled that one off we are not quite sure, but it happened, and it was memorable.