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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 August 2006, 14:39 GMT 15:39 UK
Festival parade takes to streets
Performers from the 2006 Cavalcade
More than 3,000 performers from around the world are taking part
The 30th annual Edinburgh Festival Cavalcade has made its way through the streets of the Scottish capital.

The cast of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo led the parade, with the usual floats joined by a collection of classic motorbikes.

The parade, which is one of the largest free events in Edinburgh, attracted 175,000 people last year.

It was the 30th anniversary of the cavalcade, which marks the start of Edinburgh's festival season.

The parade included more than 3,000 participants from festival and fringe shows, community groups, commercial floats and bands from all over the world.

The cavalcade route took it along Waverley Bridge, Princes Street, Lothian Road and Castle Terrace.

'Important year'

A total of 11 events will run in the city for the festival season, including the fringe, book and film festivals and the Edinburgh International Festival - which all contribute about 184m to the Scottish economy.

Last year's festival season saw over 16,000 performers stage more than 27,000 performances in 300 venues across the capital.

However, despite the capital's successful festival history Paul Gudgin, director of the Fringe, said Edinburgh could not afford to be complacent.

His comments came as Manchester gets set to launch an international festival next year, Liverpool becomes European Capital of Culture the year after and the arts will feature prominently when London hosts the Olympics in 2012.

Mr Gudgin said: "This is probably the most important year for a long time. I don't believe there's going to be a single city which is suddenly going to become the next Edinburgh and just have one huge festival that detracts from us.

"What is more of a threat is actually several festivals, good festivals, both in the UK and internationally chipping away at what we do maybe in a particular genre or maybe in terms of time of year."


SEE ALSO
In pictures: Edinburgh Cavalcade
06 Aug 06 |  In Pictures
Best of the fest set for the west
04 Aug 06 |  Glasgow and West
Blogs in focus at Festival Fringe
04 Aug 06 |  Entertainment
The arts go on show in Edinburgh
28 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
Religion at the heart of Fringe
08 Jun 06 |  Entertainment

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