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Golden opportunity as Olympic torch hits towns
A MAJOR celebration will take place on the beach at Bournemouth when the Olympic Torch travels through Dorset and the New Forest next summer.
The torch will tour 43 Dorset communities in two days on July 12 and 13 2012 and stop in the New Forest on July 14, ahead of the opening ceremony in London on July 27.
Thousands of people are expected to line the route as the torch passes through.
There will be evening celebrations in Weymouth and Portland on July 12 and on Bournemouth East Beach on July 13.
The towns are among 66 locations to host evening events during the 70-day London Olympic 2012 relay.
Bournemouth council says planning is well underway for a stage show of around two-and-a-half hours culminating in the arrival of the Olympic Flame carried by the final torchbearer of the day.
Olympics organisers will join with sponsors Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB/Bank of Scotland and Samsung to stage the shows, with a cauldron lit from the Olympic Flame at the end of each day.
Lord Coe, chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), said: “We have no doubt that Bournemouth Borough 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 East Beach, Bournemouth. “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.” Cllr Peter Charon, leader of Bournemouth council, said: “Bournemouth’s famous beaches are synonymous with the town. East Beach – below the East Cliff, close to the Pier and with Hengistbury Head as a distant backdrop – really is the perfect location for the people of Bournemouth and the surrounding area to celebrate the arrival of the Olympic Flame in our town.”
After its overnight stop in Bournemouth, the torch will pass through Christchurch on its way to Hampshire.
Cllr Ray Nottage, leader of Christchurch Borough Council said: “We are delighted that Christchurch has been chosen to form part of the route for the Torch relay as it will give our community the chance to take part in the celebrations that mark the Olympics and see the Flame for themselves.”
The flame will arrive in the UK from Greece on May 18 and its relay will start from Land’s End the next day. It will travel an estimated 8,000 miles across the UK before arriving at the Olympic Stadium on July 27.
The 8,000 inspirational torchbearers, who have been nominated by members of the public, are expected to be revealed next month.
Where to see the Olympic torch tour July 12 (torch brought in from Salisbury) AM: Shaftesbury, Fontmell Magna, Iwerne Minster, Stourpaine, Blandford Forum, Winterborne Whitechurch, Milborne St Andrew, Puddletown.
PM: Dorchester, Winterbourne Abbas, Bridport, Chideock, Lyme Regis, Burton Bradstock, Abbotsbury, Portesham, Chickerell, Wyke Regis, Osprey Quay, Portland JULY 13 AM: Portland Bill; Southwell, Portland; Weston, Portland; Easton, Portland; Fortuneswell, Portland; Weymouth; Preston, Osmington, Winfrith Newburgh, Durdle Door, Wool, Corfe Castle.
PM: Swanage, Stoborough, Wareham, Sandford, Lytchett Minster, Upton, Hamworthy, Poole, Bournemouth, Christchurch.