Page last updated at 09:27 GMT, Monday, 4 August 2008 10:27 UK

Cavalcade begins festival season

Edinburgh Festivals cavalcade pic by Charlie McCartney from Glenrothes
Edinburgh Festivals Cavalcade picture by Charlie McCartney from Glenrothes

Tens of thousands of spectators lined the streets of Edinburgh for a huge parade to start the festival season.

About 3,000 participants took part in the Edinburgh Festivals' Cavalcade.

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

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

The parade marched off 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 passed without incident.

We had the most appalling weather in the morning, but it just blew over later
Cavalcade director
David Todd
A spokesman said: "There were no incidents. It was a good-natured, family event."

Cavalcade director David Todd said the heavy rain earlier in the day and into Sunday afternoon may have put people off.

But the downpour eased off as the parade got under way and there was a "really good atmosphere", he said.

Mr Todd estimated the crowd at closer to 100,000 - still down on the numbers in previous years.

A couple of Fringe groups decided not to take part due to the weather, he added.

"We had the most appalling weather in the morning, but it just blew over later," Mr Todd said.

"At about 2.30pm when the parade started, the rain stopped. We were very lucky."

He added: "It was a very appreciative crowd. The parade moved along quite well, and the DJs entertaining along the route kept people happy."

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