(Editors Note: The events reported in this story have not been a regular part of the Edinburgh Festival since 2010. We'll let you know if they make a comeback)
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival kicks off on a Sunday afternoon with a truly gigantic parade. Known as The Cavalcade, it begins with a motorised parade. Motorcycles collector's cars, all kinds of vehicles lead the Cavalcade from a start at Market Street, across Waverley Bridge, along Princes Street to Lothian Road and a finish on Castle Terrace.
Next comes the entire cast of the famous Edinburgh Military Tattoo - more pipers, traditional dancers, riders and marching bands than you ever imagined existed in one place.
They're followed by festival performers - about 3,000 of them, floats, commercial floats and marching bands from all over the world.
Like Mardi Gras, paraders give out beads and trinkets to the spectators, but unlike Mardi Gras they aren't allowed to throw them. So if you want these coveted badges of Edinburgh, arrive early enough to grab a front row position.
Tickets for the grandstands on Princes Street may be available, for £10, for early arrivals. But with the festival attracting a million people to Edinburgh, you'd be wise to order them in advance. There's a downloadable form on the Cavalcade website.
Festival SundayNews in 2009 - Sadly, the giant free festival known as Festival Sunday had to be cancelled in 2009 because of lack of sponsorship. We hope to see this wonderful tradition return in the future. In the meantime, you can find video snippets of many shows on the festival review sites. And peruse the festival programme for compilation and sampler shows that are cropping up in many venues.
The party, later that night, is for performers, people connected with the venues and those lucky enough to be considered "friends of the Fringe". The rest of us have to wait for a week for the giant outdoor party known as Festival Sunday.
Staged on the second Sunday of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Festival Sunday is an all-day long, free celebration on The Meadows, near Edinburgh University. The official festival website describes it as "an outdoor carnival of live performance. There are six stages and tents with all kinds of bands and cabaret acts showcasing their work.
And Party OnDon't worry if you don't arrive in time for the opening week festivities. Throughout the festival month of August, Edinburgh streets are teeming with visitors, most in a happy, party mood. It's a wild and friendly place and, for the real party animals, most of the pubs and clubs stay open until 5 a.m.