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70 floats to take part in Lord Mayor's Show

One of last year's parade participants Photo: Laura Lean/PA Wire

To celebrate the Lord Mayor's Show's 800th birthday, the St Mary-le-Bow church bells will ring out a special 800-change at noon. The show is the oldest civic procession in the world, celebrating the start of a one-year term for the new Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman Jeffrey Mountevans, who becomes the 688th Lord Mayor It consists of a three-mile procession from Mansion House to the Royal Courts of Justice, passing by St. Paul's Cathedral.

A pig flies by St Paul's Cathedral in last year's show Credit: Laura Lean/PA Wire

The Lord Mayor is elected on an annual basis and takes office on the day before the show at a Silent Ceremony held at the Guildhall. The first recorded Mayor of London was Henry Fitz-Ailwyn in 1189

A particpant parades through the City of London during the Lord Mayor's Show Credit: Laura Lean/PA Wire

Over the centuries this journey has become a street party, with hundreds of thousands of people lining the streets to watch. It moved from river barges (hence the term 'floats') to horseback and then into the magnificent State Coach, and around it grew a medieval festival known as the Lord Mayor's Show. That ancient procession is still alive today. This year's pageant is 7,000 strong, including 173 horses, 140 vehicles, Taiko drummers, vintage steamrollers, tractors, fire engines, armoured vehicles, the Batmobile, Noak's Ark and a tank.

Rehearsals for the parade taking place earlier this week Credit: ITV News

The new Lord Mayor completes his first full day in office with a fireworks display over the Thames at 5:15pm