Pastures lands torch gig

The Duchess of Northumberland, festival co-ordinator Karen Larkin and pupils from St Michael's First School at the unveiling of the venue for the Olympic Torch event.
The Duchess of Northumberland, festival co-ordinator Karen Larkin and pupils from St Michael's First School at the unveiling of the venue for the Olympic Torch event.

ALNWICK Pastures will play host to the Olympic Torch evening party next summer, it has been revealed.

The high-profile celebration will mark the passing of the iconic torch through the county next year.

On June 14, 2012, the world-famous flame will make a historic overnight stop in Alnwick as it travels round the country. And thousands of people from across the region are expected to turn out to witness its arrival and enjoy an evening of 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 some 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.

The Duchess of Northumberland said she is delighted that the celebration will be held in the Pastures but added that it will be an event for the whole county not just Alnwick.

“Alnwick Castle is iconic in the UK and around the world,” she said.

“It is great for Alnwick but it is an opportunity for Northumberland to put itself on the map. It is up to the whole of the county to maximise this opportunity.

“I think it would be very easy for people to feel isolated from what is going on.

“This is our moment to work together and see something great happen.

“It is also about the future and about the children. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for them to be part of something big. It is about communities pulling together to make something memorable happen for their area.”

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.

Sebastian Coe, chair of LOCOG said: “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.”