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19/05/11 Maidstone's Olympic Celebration - July 19th
Maidstone has been chosen to host an Evening Celebration as part of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.
The Olympic Flame will be visiting the borough on its journey around the UK with a cauldron lighting celebration showcasing the County Town’s culture and heritage at Leeds Castle, Maidstone at the end of the day on Thursday, July 19, 2012.
Maidstone will be one of 66 Evening Celebration locations across the UK confirmed today by the London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). The evening events will offer thousands of people the opportunity to come together and get involved in celebrations and share in the Olympic spirit. As part of the events LOCOG and the Presenting Partners, Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung, will stage exciting entertainment shows where a cauldron will be lit from the Olympic Flame, marking the end of the day’s proceedings.
The Olympic Flame will arrive in the UK from Greece on Friday, May 18, 2012 and the 70-day Torch Relay will start at Land’s End, Cornwall on the morning of the May 19, 2012. On leaving Land’s End, the Olympic Flame is expected to travel an estimated 8,000 miles across the UK, giving thousands of communities and individuals their moment to shine as the Olympic Flame comes to their doorstep. The Olympic Flame 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.
Maidstone Borough Council supports its local athletes through its Maidstone Dream initiative. Leader of the Council, Chris Garland is looking forward to welcoming the Olympic Flame to Maidstone. “This is great news for the borough and well deserved. The Olympic Games are all about taking part and this is a chance for us to celebrate and be part of the Olympics. I am hoping that some of our Maidstone’s Dream athletes will not only take part but maybe bring home a medal to Maidstone. Maidstone people will give the Flame a tremendous welcome;” he said.
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG said: “We are thrilled that Maidstone Borough Council has agreed to host the Olympic Flame on its journey right across the UK. The Olympic Flame will shine a light right across Maidstone, celebrating the culture and heritage of the area and showcasing the very best of this town. We have no doubt that the welcome Maidstone council will provide will demonstrate how the spirit of the Olympic Games is reaching out across the UK and excitement builds as the start of the 2012 Games draws closer.”
Helen Grant, one of Maidstone’s two MPs said: “I am thrilled that the world-famous and historic Olympic Torch will be carried through Maidstone, Kent’s County Town. Participating in sport and exercise has stood me in good stead throughout my life and I am a staunch supporter of all sporting activities, especially in schools. The 2012 Olympics in London will create a shop window of Britain’s sporting achievements to the world and I am pleased that Maidstone will be part of that focus. This really is something very positive for Maidstone to celebrate”
KCC Cabinet Member for Customer and Communities Mike Hill said: "We are delighted that Maidstone has been chosen to host an evening celebration as part of the Olympic Torch Relay. After many years working together through a range of community projects and events, it is great to see the County town being recognised. The torch will be in Kent in the later stages of the Relay just before it enters London so the world's media will be firmly on Kent as residents have the real chance to be part of this exciting occasion."
The Olympic Flame will be carried across the UK by 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers and once the detailed daily route is confirmed later this year, the aim is for 95% of the UK population to be within a one hour journey time, of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay. The London 2012 Olympic Torchbearer nomination programme launches today at 11am.
In addition to the locations confirmed on the route today, many other cities, towns, villages and places of outstanding natural beauty, sports venues and community hubs will be announced in a second, more detailed route announcement later this year that will confirm the many other places the Olympic Flame will visit on each day of the Relay.