Sang Tan  /  AP
British police officers stand on duty during the children day of Notting Hill Carnival in London, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
updated 8/28/2011 6:37:15 PM ET 2011-08-28T22:37:15

The Notting Hill Carnival, Europe's largest street festival, has begun successfully with few problems reported on Sunday.

The festival closed before dark this year to discourage any repetition of the riots and looting that erupted in London and other cities earlier in the month. Story: Police to patrol London's Notting Hill Carnival

Police described the opening day of the two-day festival as peaceful, and reported 33 arrests, including six for assault and one for an offensive weapon. Drunkenness and disorder usually result in a few hundred arrests each year.

Police deployed 5,500 officers on duty at the festival on Sunday and 6,500 on Monday, the main day of the carnival.

Launched in 1964, the carnival has grown into a major street event that typically attracts 1 million people.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: After riots, London rebuilds

  1. Closed captioning of: After riots, London rebuilds

    >>> london is relatively calm after a week of rioting. now as folks pick up the pieces , the people who lived through are t are -- through it are asking why and showing resolve and reaching out to each other in the face of overwhelming tragedy. jim maceda with our story.

    >> reporter: it was not a week for the proud or patriotic here.

    >> i don't know why people do this.

    >> reporter: moments of senseless violence, hatred, and desperation shocked the nation and those beyond. now the cleanup has started, but so has the fight.

    >> we will do whatever it takes to restore law and order and to rebuild our communities.

    >> reporter: there's defiance in the streets. vigilante groups, sikhs and turks defending their communities. police raids on alleged rioters have led to at least 1,700 arrests. the courts are in overdrive. fight-back is also in the heart. 89-year-old widower aaron baeber thought he lost everything when a bank broke into his barber shop .

    >> they took my kettle, my two cups of coffee, sugar, i couldn't believe it.

    >> reporter: nor could he believe the $40,000 campaigns raised to get the world war ii vet back in business.

    >> there must be some good people in this world.

    >> reporter: this student had every reason to hate britain -- mugged, his jaw broken, and robbed by the people who pretended to help him. the video of his ordeal went viral. and britains, total strangers, raised about $30,000 as a gift to him.

    >> people are very generous, seriously.

    >> reporter: "new york times" reporter ravi salvia said he's seen a courtesy return.

    >> the things that caused riots paradoxically may have come back in the aftermath.

    >> reporter: there are centers for donations and walls for compassion.

    >> it's about showing that we do love our city. we're proud of our city. we want the world to know that.

    >> reporter: a nation taking control and believing in itself once again. for "today," jim maceda, nbc news, london.

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