Lord Mayor's Show and Fireworks

Date Posted: 29/08/14

Lord Mayor's Show and Fireworks

The Lord Mayor's Show and Fireworks is about as English as you can possibly get - right up there with the Queen's birthday parade and tea and scones at 4pm. It is not, as many might believe, another excuse for Boris Johnson to get trapped in a zip wire, but an ancient rite of passage that sees the newest Lord Mayor of the City of London ordained.

Occurring annually in November, the event attracts huge numbers of people who venture out into the cold to witness the flamboyant procession that sees hundreds of horses, marching bands and floats parading through the Square Mile.

Starting from Mansion House at 11am, the parade winds its way through the historic streets to the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand. At 11.45am, the glorious State Coach leaves Guildhall and travels to Mansion House to pick up the Lord Mayor.

By 1pm, he will have handed over his essential role to the new gentleman and the parade will be on its way back to Mansion House, pausing at St Paul's Cathedral to receive a blessing.

The reason for the public nature of this swearing in was so that the Lord Mayor originally could swear an oath of loyalty to the then King John, quelling any suggestions of potential treason. It is a very traditional event, stretching all the way back to the 16th century. It has featured in Pepys’s diaries and in works by Canaletto and Hogarth.

At the end of the procession, everyone disperses to find dinner, before congregating once again on the banks of the Thames to enjoy a spectacular firework display between Waterloo and Blackfriars bridges. This pyrotechnic extravaganza is always impressive.

This year, the fun takes place on Saturday November 8th and, as always, it is entirely free to attend. Just make sure you get to the Square Mile early enough to secure a good place where you can watch the proceedings.

Posted by Michael Middleton

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