Friday, 6 July 2012

Olympic Torch Relay: What to expect on the day.

There are just a few days left until the Olympic Torch Relay comes through Thanet on 19 July. Preparations are being made along the huge route – the longest in the county and excitement is building.
Celebrations are being planned in areas that the Torch will pass through, giving people some fun and entertainment on the day.
The route will start at Cliffsend just before 10am and make its final stop at Birchington just after 2:30pm. The full route and timings are available on the Thanet District Council website
Our route will be welcoming a few celebrity torchbearers: Former Olympic swimmer Karen Pickering MBE will be carrying the torch in Margate along with artist Tracey Emin, retired Olympic javelin sportsmen Steve Backley will run through Ramsgate and Britain’s current number three tennis player Elena Baltacha will take it through St Peter’s. She will then go on to compete in this year’s Games.
The Relay will be travelling down the left-hand side of the road, so the left side of the pavement is the best place to stand to see the Torch come past. Traffic on the right-hand side will be moving as normal, albeit slower than usual.
We encourage residents to start lining the streets about an hour before the proposed arrival time to get the best view. Sponsors' vehicles will be arriving before the Flame itself and are keen to hand out souvenirs and mementos to the crowds - another good reason to stand on the left so that you can collect them up.
Each Torchbearer will cover around 300 metres before handing over to the next, at torch ‘kissing points’. The full convoy will take around 15 minutes to pass by each spot.
Some parking bays will be suspended and areas of the route that are expected to get busy will be steward-assisted, whilst in other places barriers may be put up to assist with crowd control and ensure safety.
Delays and disruption should be expected for around an hour before it passes through and the following areas are expected to be particularly busy: Ramsgate Harbour, Margate Seafront, Northdown Road.
 Dress for the weather – keep dry or keep sun-protected, depending on what the day brings us.
 Celebrations are planned as follows:
Cliffsend will be celebrating with live music, a steel band from Your School of Music in Canterbury and the Spire Academy School Band from Sturry.
The mayor of Ramsgate will also be there to enjoy the party and perhaps even the fairground rides, along with local school children.
The town centre will be busy with people who have waited to see the torch. Jazz bands will play to create a great atmosphere for the day.
The Royal Standard of George IV will be raised outside the Royal Temple Yacht Club as the Torch passes along Royal Parade. The Mayor of Ramsgate and Broadstairs Sea Cadets will be in attendance.
Schools will be gathering along the Broadway to watch the torch relay and to celebrate afterwards.
From 11am, people visiting Cliftonville will be treated to a whole range of entertainment, arranged by businesses in the area, which is fully embracing this momentous occasion.
There will be a children’s entertainer, live music, plus a best-dressed shop competition.
There will also be a picnic and free activities in Dalby Square and Thanet District Council Leader Cllr. Clive Hart will be visiting.
From midday at the Piazza, visitors can enjoy music from Cllr. Mick Tomlinson. There will also be celebrations at the Turner Contemporary after the Torch has passed through, held by Tracey Emin.
People in Birchington are going for gold with their toga-themed day.

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