Were you to have mentioned the German industrial city of Dortmund in a game of word association prior to this weekend and the word "party" likely would not have been the first thing you would have heard. But after this weekend's enormous Love Parade, the two words will be forever paired.
The city hosted this year's Love Parade, the annual German techno festival, whose theme this year was "Highway of Love." And with an estimated 1.6 million participants, it is believed to have surpassed the 1999 event in Berlin as the largest ever.
Although the festival originated as a smaller musical event in Berlin in 1989, it began migrating to German cities after financial problems forced it to not be held in 2004 and 2005.
In 2007, Berlin authorities denied permits to parade organizers after becoming fed up with providing costly security and sanitary support, so the event was moved to Essen, where it drew 1.2 million people. The next parades will be held in Bochum, Duisburg and Gelsenkirchen.
This year's parade -- held in windy, rainy weather -- included 37 colorful floats bearing costumed revelers and blasting loud music. Nearly 250 DJs from 15 countries provided musical entertainment into the night.
Police reported relatively few incidents requiring their attention. Emergency service personnel reported having to treat only 1,373 people compared to last year's 4,000.