Cancelled last year for the first time since WW2, the Lord Mayor’s show will resume its annual parade through the City next month.

The annual event 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 outside St Paul’s Cathedral.

Accompanying the newly elected Lord Mayor, Alderman Vincent Keaveny on Saturday 13th November will be a procession of over 6,500 people, 120 horses and more than 50 decorated floats.

The term “float” is a legacy of when the Lord Mayor’s show was on the River Thames with grand barges owned by the Livery Companies. When the show switched to land, they kept the terminology, so the decorated lorries are still called floats.

This year’s show includes colourful full-size model elephants, Japanese taiko drummers, and a horse-drawn bus. 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.

The procession is much longer than the route, so there is always something going on wherever you stand.

For the full Lord Mayor’s Show experience – watch the outward procession from 11 to 12 in the area between Bank and St Pauls. For the quiet, spacious version – watch the return procession between 1.15 and 2.30 in the Embankment area. Details are here.

The Lord Mayor will parade through the City 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 State Coach will also be on display at Guildhall in the week proceeding the Lord Mayor’s show – from 8th November.

This year, three of London’s bridges – London, Cannon St and Southwark – will be lit especially for the occasion, with lighting designers Speirs & Major working on something special.

And finally, another tradition that’s returning, as St Paul’s Cathedral will be open for free on the day of the Lord Mayor’s Show. Entry into the Cathedral floor and crypt will be free between 8:30am and 5pm (last entry 3:30pm). The upper galleries will be open 9.30am-2.15pm and there is a £10 per person charge to visit the Galleries on the day.


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