Switzerland is this year's guest of honour on its own territory at Geneva’s annual festival, the Fêtes de Genève, starting on Friday.
Announcing the programme for the 10-day event, the organisers expressed delight at the growing success of the festival, which attracted an estimated 1.6 million participants in 1999.
But they added that the record total also left in its wake some 60 tonnes of rubbish on the streets. "We would like this year’s to be a lot tidier," they said.
The cantons and about 50 young people representing Swiss living abroad will open proceedings with a street parade, complete with yodelers and cows. Swiss cuisine and traditions will also be very much in evidence, with a Swiss "village" offering culinary and cultural regional specialities.
Other attractions range from a techno night and lakeside parade to a clown parade for children, open-air concerts and two performances of Bizet’s "Carmen" in the city’s Grand Casino.
But for many the climax of the festival will be its final evening on August 5, when the skies will be lit up by a grand firework display.
swissinfo with agencies
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