Video and Photo: Latvian Song & Dance Celebration Parade

The traditional parade of the participants of this year's XXVI Song and XVI Dance Celebration took place July 1, providing a seven-hour-long spectacle for anyone lucky enough to be out and about in Rīga.

From the Freedom Monument, along Brīvības street and ending at Skonto stadium for the first time, the procession started at 14.00 with participants walking in a carefully defined order: first the Vidzeme region collectives, followed by the groups from Kurzeme, Zemgale, Selija, Latgale, the diaspora and finally Rīga.

A record number of participants was recorded: 43,219 registered, representing 1,788 different groups, while the addition of support staff and helpers brings the total up to around 47,000.

By common consent the event was a magnificent success, setting the perfect tone for a week-long celebration of Latvia's unique culture. Browse some of the sights and sounds of a memorable day in the video above and the gallery below!

A reminder: many of the events taking place in coming days can be watched live worldwide for free via the VISIEM LTV channel, so tune in to enter into the spirit of the Song and Dance Celebration.

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