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LIVERPOOL DAILY POST: City knows how to party in style.

EVEN though we are now two thirds of the way through Capital of Culture year, this showcase spectacular shows no signs of flagging.

This Bank Holiday weekend saw the triumphant return of the full Mathew Street festival after a one-year gap.

This year's event, the biggest ever, saw hundreds of thousands pour into the city centre over two days for what is traditionally a good-natured event which sees the streets given over to revellers of all ages.

For the first time, the festival had six outdoor stages, and also added a new main stage near to the Queensway Tunnel, along with a Mathew St Fringe Festival, and huge LED screens on three stages.

Crowds also flocked to Derby Square, Williamson Square, Water Street, Exchange Street East and the Hatton Garden junction to see hours of live music.

Even the weather was kind enough to bless the outdoor event with largely rainfree conditions.

It is to the credit of all concerned that they managed to organise such a largescale event so that everyone enjoyed themselves in safety, without the heavyhanded and intrusive stewardship that can sometimes mar such occasions.

When it goes well, as it did this weekend, the Mathew Street festival is the kind of event that shows Liverpool at its best, and which it is hard to imagine any other city staging so successfully or with the same kind of great atmosphere.

Meanwhile, after three years of planning, the World Firefighter Games got under way at Liverpool's waterfront Arena yesterday with a spectacular opening ceremony.

Featuring pyrotechnics, giant puppets, urban stunts, and acrobatics, more than 3,000 firefighters and their families were welcomed to Liverpool, with HRH the Prince of Wales and Prime Minister Gordon Brown both addressing the ceremony via a recorded video.

Taken together, these two events show there is still plenty to look forward to and celebrate for the rest of this flagship year, and beyond.
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Title Annotation:Leaders
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 26, 2008
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