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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 August 2005, 17:02 GMT 18:02 UK
Parade launches Edinburgh fringe
Edinburgh Festivals Cavalcade
Police patrolled Princes Street during the festival cavalcade
The 59th Edinburgh Fringe, the world's biggest arts festival, has opened with a cavalcade through the Scottish city.

More than 170,000 people lined the streets as performers taking part in Fringe events and the military tattoo paraded through the capital.

Apart from a small number of spectators suffering heat exhaustion, the event passed off without incident.

Neil Richardson, chief superintendent of Lothian and Borders Police, said "a safe, happy event was enjoyed by all".

"The cavalcade was very well attended and we would like to thank everyone for their cooperation and patience."

Some 16,000 performers are taking part in nearly 27,000 performances in 300 venues until the end of August.

The festival now sells 1.25 million tickets each year, worth more than 9m.

Edinburgh Festivals Cavalcade
Chinese dragons, dancers and military bands took part
According to BBC arts correspondent Rebecca Jones, the atmosphere in the city is light-hearted.

However, the London bombings have resulted in heightened security and people have been urged to be vigilant.

"The large number of armed police on the streets of Edinburgh is a visible reminder that the threat of terrorism extends to the Scottish capital."

The central theme of this year's festival is the "war on terror", and many of the shows are expected to touch on the subject of terrorism.

In addition to the Fringe, during August Edinburgh also plays host to the International, book and film festivals.

They will be followed by the television festival and the 11th Edinburgh Mela, a two-day intercultural event taking place on the first weekend of September.

See some of the acts on show in Edinburgh

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