The world-famous Lord Mayor’s Show returns next month as the Square Mile emerges from COVID to wow spectators with a breath-taking display of pageantry.
The noisiest, largest, and most colourful event in the City of London’s calendar takes place on Saturday November 13, bringing together a procession of over 6,500 people, 120 horses and more than 50 decorated floats.
Alderman Vincent Keaveny has been elected as the 693rd Lord Mayor of the City of London and will take office on Friday November 12.
The City of London Corporation, which governs the Square Mile, is encouraging spectators to help the event stay COVID-safe by ensuring they are fully vaccinated, taking a lateral flow test 24 hours before attending and following government guidelines including wearing face coverings on public transport.
Anyone with COVID symptoms or who has been told to isolate by the NHS should not attend but self-isolate until they have had a PCR test.
This year’s show includes colourful full-size model elephants, Japanese taiko drummers, and a horse-drawn bus, in a major spectacle that dates back to the 13th century.
The three-mile-long procession will be filled with carriages and horses, and a fire engine with a 210-foot extendable turntable ladder – the tallest in Europe – will also be on show.
Vincent Keaveny will ride in the procession in the golden State Coach, which has been used in every Lord Mayor’s Show since 1757 and is the oldest ceremonial vehicle in regular use in the world.
The annual event, which celebrates the City’s ancient past and modern outlook, enables the Lord Mayor to ‘show’ himself or herself to people across the City of London, as well as to swear an oath of allegiance to the sovereign.
Cheered on by crowds and millions watching the live BBC coverage and online streaming of the event, the procession will leave The Mansion House, the Lord Mayor’s official residence, at 11am.
Lord Mayor Elect Vincent Keaveny said: “This year’s Lord Mayor’s Show will feel particularly special and it’s wonderful to be returning with the City getting its buzz back.
“But it’s also critical to remember COVID has not gone away.
“That is why I am urging all spectators to take sensible public health steps to ensure everyone’s safety.
“These vital measures include taking lateral flow tests 24 hours before the show and wearing face coverings on public transport.
“There is nothing quite like the Lord Mayor’s Show, in terms of size, colour, or ability to bring together so many diverse participants, including young people from London’s schools and community groups, in one celebratory and inclusive event.
“The show and the role of the Lord Mayor are both unique, and I am really looking forward to taking part on 13 November, and to serving as Lord Mayor of the City of London for the coming year.”
This year, three of London’s Thames bridges – London, Cannon St and Southwark – will be lit especially for the occasion, with lighting designers Speirs & Major working with the City Corporation to provide something extra special.