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Ravers parade in Berlin

BERLIN, Germany -- Hundreds of thousands of ravers have danced through central Berlin for the 13th annual Love Parade.

Techno beats thumped throughout the city centre on Saturday for the crowd of about 400,000.

The crowd was much lower than the one million plus who attended last year, partly due to confusion over whether the parade would proceed.

Sindy, 22, and Ela, 19, from the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and wearing pink furry bras and matching handkerchief-sized miniskirts, were not worried that there were fewer people at the parade than last year, Reuters news agency reported.

"It means we've more room to dance and wiggle," they said,drawing appreciative whistles from passers-by for their revealing outfits.

Shiny G-string bikinis and fluorescent fluffy snow boots were among some of the more flamboyant costumes at the world's biggest dance music party.

Rico, a 20-year-old student from Frankfurt-an-der-Oder attending his eighth Love Parade, was proud of his beige furry cowboy flares.

"I used the sitting room rugs to make these," he told Reuters .

Hundreds of DJs were set up on 50 floats, with one float offering wedding services for ravers.

Some 2,000 police wearing Love Parade badges and over 800 health workers were monitoring the event.

Police said they had detained 23 people so far, two for robbery and the rest for drug-related offences.

Originally the parade was due to be held on July 14, but thwarted by an environmentalist group who booked the central Tiergarten on the same day to hold an anti-parade protest.

After weeks of wrangling over costs and dates, the city agreed to let the parade be held a week later.

The Love Parade began in 1989 as a small procession of 150 ravers and has developed into an massive event that pumps millions into the local economy.

The Love Parade lost its status as a political demonstration, which means the organisers and not the city have to pick up a rubbish bill of nearly one million marks ($450,000).

• Loveparade

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