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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 March 2006, 09:37 GMT 10:37 UK
Commonwealth Games photos

(l-r) Cherie Blair, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Janette Howard, Australian Prime Minister John Howard and (far right) Prince Edward

Dignitaries gather at the Melbourne Cricket Ground as the closing ceremony begins with the Australian national anthem

Grinspoon guitarist Joe Hansen

And the party is soon in full swing as Grinspoon guitarist Joe Hansen makes a spectacular entrance

Ballerinas perform at the closing ceremony

Ballerina dancers, dressed in Australian Rules Football team colours, swirl around the arena

Acrobats perform at the closing ceremony

Meanwhile, acrobats perform gymnastic feats in large rings as they drop into the stadium

The closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne

The extravaganza continues with the message I Love Melbourne spelt out for all the Commonwealth to see

An inverted globe

A giant inverted globe, with Australia on top of the world, is lowered as each of the competing nations' flags are raised

Shiela Dikshit, The Chief Minister of Delhi (left) receives the Commonwealth Games Federation flag from Steve Bracks, Premier of the Australian state of Victoria

The Commonwealth Games Federation flag is passed from Melbourne to 2010 host city Delhi in India

Bollywood stars Saif Ali Khan (green) and Rani Mukherjee (red) lead the dancing

And Indian dancers give the Commonwealth a taste of what is to come with a Bollywood-style performance

His Royal Highness Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex

It is then the duty of His Royal Highness Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, to officially declare the games closed

Australian swimmer Michael Klim

Australian swimmer Michael Klim offers thanks on behalf of the athletes before he is somewhat rudely interrupted...

Dame Edna Everage

...the interruption comes from none other than Dame Edna Everage who adds her own unique message to proceedings

Fireworks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground

And then the fireworks begin in earnest to bring the Commonwealth Games to a spectacular climax

Fireworks at the MCG

Crowds outside the stadium gather on the banks of the river Yarra to witness the breathtaking display

Athletes and performers enjoy the closing ceremnoy

Back inside the MCG, athletes and Dame Edna Everage impersonators bid their own farewells from the friendly games

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