The Pastures, which lie at the foot of Alnwick Castle, have been confirmed as the venue for a high profile evening celebration event to mark the passing of the iconic Olympic Torch through Northumberland next year.
The world famous flame will make an historic over-night stop in Alnwick on June 14 as it travels through the north of England, and thousands of people from across the region are expected to turn out to witness the excitement of its arrival and enjoy an evening of free entertainment.
The venue has been chosen by the London 2012 Organising Committee and over recent months Northumberland County Council has been working behind the scenes with the committee and the Olympic Torch Relay Presenting Partners Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung to co-ordinate the event.
Although the programme of entertainment has not been finalised, the two hour free show promises a fantastic spectacle with local talent taking to the stage to add to the festive atmosphere.
The event will culminate in the lighting of the Olympic cauldron, marking the end of the day’s proceedings.
Alnwick is one of 66 cities and towns across the UK that will be holding evening celebrations as the flame spreads the excitement of the Olympic Games ahead of the opening ceremony.
Councillor Neil Bradbury, executive member for culture at Northumberland County Council, said: “The London 2012 Olympic games will leave a legacy for generations to come and we are tremendously proud of the fact that Northumberland is to play a key part.
“The event in Alnwick will be Northumberland’s evening of Olympic celebration and will take place just six weeks before the Opening Ceremony of the Games next year. We hope that thousands of spectators from across the county will turn out to soak up the atmosphere, join in the festivities and witness the once in a lifetime spectacle as the Olympic flame arrives in the town.”
Sebastian Coe, chair of LOCOG added: “We have no doubt that Northumberland County Council will help to stage an evening celebration event that captures the excitement, passion and spirit of the Olympic Torch Relay as it comes to rest at Alnwick.
“The event will provide the perfect opportunity to invite the local community to welcome the Olympic Flame and shine a light on the culture and heritage of the area.”
The Torch Relay will start from Land’s End on May 19 and during its tour of the UK it will be carried by 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers. The route has been planned so it will come within an hour of 95% of the population while showcasing Britain’s towns, areas of outstanding natural beauty and sporting and cultural landmarks.
In total, the torch will spend 70 days on its journey around the UK. Four and a half of these will be spent in the North East as the famous flame travels south, from Scotland back into England through Northumberland before heading southwards to Tyneside.
The Olympic Flame is expected to travel an estimated 8,000 miles across the UK and will arrive at the Olympic Stadium on July 27 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Details about the timing of the event, how many people will be able to attend, who will be performing and how people can attend are currently being finalised.