Source AP ©

Love Parade moving to Germany's Ruhr region

An annual techno party named Love Parade that drew more than a million ravers to Berlin’s streets at its peak is leaving the German Capital and moving to the country's industrial Ruhr region..

Organizers said Thursday that the parade, troubled in recent years by organizational and financial problems, will be held on Aug. 25 in Essen, one of a cluster of cities in the densely populated western Ruhr region.

Over the next four years, the parade will be staged in the neighboring cities of Dortmund, Bochum, Duisburg and Gelsenkirchen.

The Berlin parade grew from a 1989 peace demonstration into a huge outdoor celebration of club culture that drew about 1.5 million people at its peak in 1999.

However, financial problems forced the cancellation of the increasingly commercialized event in 2004 and 2005. The parade returned last year, attracting between 500,000 and 700,000 people, but organizers failed to reach an agreement with city officials on this year's event.

While a major tourist draw, the parade also has come under fire from environmentalists and some city officials for causing excessive noise and other pollution in the city's central park, the Tiergarten.