London's New Year's Day parade 2016 kicks off: Thousands line the streets and Canadian illusionist Darcy Oake to perform

 
Jessica Morris
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London's New Years Day Parade
Canadian illusion artist Darcy Oake will escape from a box of water (Source: Getty)

Thousands of spectators lined the streets of London today, to watch performers take part in the capital city's 30th annual New Year's Day parade.

More than 8,500 performers representing 20 different countries processed the route from Green Park to Parliament Square.

They're expected to be joined by crowds of around 50,000 people, and the event is being televised in the US and other countries, according to the BBC.

The highlight is expected to be a peformance by Canadian illusion artist Darcy Oake, who will escape from a box of water.

Darcy, who took part on the ITV show Britain's Got Talent in 2014, told the BBC that he nearly died twice rehearsing the stunt in the beginning.

The annual event was started by executive director Bob Bone and his wife Geri in 1987. They wanted to provide entertainment on a day when most museums, theatres, cinemas, restaurants and shops are closed for the public holiday.

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