New Year’s Day gets a bad rap as the festive season’s tail-end, best suited to slobbing out, watching bad TV and bowing to the whim of your hangover. It needn’t be so.
After a kick-ass 2012, London isn’t slowing down for a second come January 1 – 2013 is set to be as mega and action-packed as the past 12 months.
Leading the charge is the 27th annual London New Year’s Day Parade from midday, which sees 50,000 people line the two-mile route to celebrate the year that was in the city. The theme for this year’s parade is Hats Off To London – Celebration Capital of the World.
“I wanted to embrace the fact that our capital city is without doubt the greatest in the world,” says parade executive director Bob Bone of this year’s event, in which each of London’s 32 boroughs will be represented among the floats, marching bands, decorated double-decker buses and cheerleaders.
“London’s New Year’s Day Parade will take the form of a special tribute to the city and its people. I can’t wait to see how the boroughs will reflect this.”
As well as raising tens of thousands of pounds for charity, and being broadcast live around the world, the parade will feature 400 of the performers and gamesmakers who made the Olympics’ opening and closing ceremonies such a special global, eye-catching success.
“London struck gold!” Bone says emphatically of London and Team GB’s on and off-track success, which he’s keen to harness in the procession.
“The flame may be extinguished but the passion and warmth still radiates. These wonderful volunteers were the outstanding performers of the Olympics. We wanted to let them take a curtain call on a world stage.”
If you’re planning on taking a more debauched approach to your end-of-year partying, London proves itself more than suited to the task.
While NYE is the big night for most, there are all sorts of parties and day-to-night raves on New Year’s Day, so you can keep dancing all the way through to January 2 and beyond.
Ministry of Sound is hosting The After Party from 6am to 2pm, with four rooms hosted by the likes of Connected, Staunch and Trix.
Brighton party-starters Kerfuffle bring their New Year’s All-Dayer back to Brixton’s Jamm from 2pm to 2am, with underground house, electronica and techno from a host of stars, including Alison Marks, Daren Nunes, J Jeff and Tom Baker. And none other than the godfather of UK house and techno Eddie Richards will be a special guest headliner.
“I’m always happy to be invited to play for Kerfuffle,” Richards tells us. “It’s been around for nearly as long as I have and over the years has hosted many DJs who have gone on to become international names. It’s a London house music institution!”
So the new year needn’t be dictated by your hangover and the holidays shouldn’t die out with a whimper
– see in 2013 with a bang!
New Year’s Day Parade | Free | W1J 9BR
Tube: Piccadilly Circus | londonparade.co.uk
The After Party. MoS. | 6am-2pm. £10+ | SE1 6DP
Tube: Borough | ministryofsound.com
Kerfuffle New Year’s Day All Dayer | Jamm. 2pm-2am | £10 | SW9 6LH
Tube: Brixton | brixtonjamm.org
Happy New Year from the Backpacker Travel Team