LONDON (AP) — With the Olympics and Paralympics over, Britain was staging one last celebration on Monday — to toast its own sporting success.
Hundreds of thousands of people were gathering to line London's streets as athletes, including distance runner Mo Farah and heptathlete Jessica Ennis, were honored for leading Britain to its most successful Olympic showing in 104 years.
Twenty-one floats will carry members of the Olympic and Paralympic teams from St. Paul's Cathedral to Buckingham Palace, and the British Air Force's Red Arrows aerobatic team will fly over the Mall.
The parade will be a celebration of Britain staging two trouble-free events that overcame anxiety about security concerns and inclement weather to provide a lift for the recession-hit nation. Britain's summer in the international spotlight began in May with festivities to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
"What a golden summer it has been for our country," Prime Minister David Cameron said. "I think it has given us a tremendous lift, I think it has brought the country together."
Cameron said there is also a lesson to draw from the Olympics, as countries across Europe struggle to deal with huge debts and sharp austerity programs.
"I think there is something else that we can take from this extraordinary period," he said outside Downing Street. "And that is for countries to succeed in this competitive and difficult world you need to have confidence that you can do big things and get them right.
"You need to have confidence that you can take on the best and beat the best, and I think the Olympic and Paralympics — we've absolutely done that as a country."