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Edinburgh Festival Fringe kicks off

4th August 2008

Tens of thousands of spectators lined the streets of the Scottish capital for a huge parade to kick start the 2008 festival season.

Some 3,000 participants took part in the Edinburgh Festivals' Cavalcade, which traditionally heralds the start of the city's month-long arts bonanza.

Police estimated crowds of 50,000 turned out as heavy rain hit the city on Sunday afternoon - lower than previous years when up to 175,000 people have turned up.

Performers from the various festivals in Edinburgh take part in the march.

The entire cast of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Highland dancers, pipers, drummers and bands from all over the world also participated.

The parade marched off at 2.30pm from Waverley Bridge, and went along Princes Street, Lothian Road and Castle Terrace.

Spectators lined the streets and a series of grandstands were also set up along the route.

Lothian and Borders Police said the event, which finished at around 4.30pm, passed without incident.

A spokesman said: "There were no incidents. It was a good-natured, family event."

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