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Geneva gets ready to party

A giant firework display sets the Fêtes de Genève in motion on August 3

(Keystone Archive)

More than a million people are expected to take to the streets of Geneva for the "Fêtes de Genève" as tropical bands, techno ravers and Elvis fans prepare to entertain during the fest, from August 3 to August 12.

There is little to compare the carnival atmosphere of today with the modest flower festival of the festival's early days, in the 1920s. The Fêtes de Genève has become the event of the year in a city usually dominated by diplomatic negotiations.

A spectacular fireworks show over Lake Geneva kicks off the celebration on August 3. Tahiti is this year's featured theme, and musicians, cooks and artisans from the island group will add a tropical touch to the event.

Swiss and French air forces will participate in a joint air show on August 4. But the noise of the jets may seem quiet compared to the techno music blasted from floats taking part in the "Lake Parade" later in the day.

Street artists will put on a more modest, but equally entertaining show on the city's riverbanks on August 5. Elvis is being resurrected for an open-air concert a couple of nights later, and a children's parade will bring the "Fêtes de Genève" to an end on August 12.

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