THE Merchant City Festival opened with the banging of drums as young samba musicians launched the five-day arts event.
They appeared at a family street party on Brunswick Street to open Glasgow's biggest annual festival.
And the celebrations will continue until August 3, with the 2012 Experience, as Glasgow hosts eight Olympic football matches at Hampden as part of London 2012.
Yesterday's carnival parade, from the City Halls to the 2012 Experience stage, was the culmination of a three-day workshop led by drummer Dougie Hudson of Salsa Celtica.
The children performed on stage with Dougie's new band Mandala-Moodz
Organisers Glasgow Arts have programmed what they said is the most wide-ranging and colourful festival yet.
The programme features several Scottish premieres and specially commissioned performances.
To mark Glasgow's status as an Olympic City, and with the 2014 Commonwealth Games coming ever closer, this year's programme will reflect games, playing and participating in its widest context.
More than 300 events across 75 venues will bring street theatre, music, dance, circus and performance skills together with visual arts, comedy and literature to the city.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "We were keen to start the party as we intend to go on – with a bang.
"The Merchant City Festival embodies everything I love about Glasgow.
"It is ambitious, diverse, exciting and fun. It provides opportunities for those who think art might not be for them to get involved and give it a go."
The 2012 Experience Stage, on Brunswick Street, in the Merchant City, will feature fun every day of the festival.
A large screen will also be erected on which the Olympic football matches being hosted at Hampden will be broadcast, as will Friday's Olympic opening ceremony.
For information follow @MerchCityFest on Twitter or download the programme at www.merchantcityfestival.com