It will be party time at the Madejski Stadium in July next year as Reading marks the arrival of the Olympic Flame in the town. The home of Reading Football Club will play host to up to 20,000 local people who will be able to join in the celebrations and share in the Olympic Spirit, enjoying a busy programme of entertainment involving local and visiting acts for free.
The Olympic Flame will arrive in Reading on 10 July, 2012, and will be carried through the town by local torch-bearers. The evening event at the Madejski Stadium is being planned to ensure that local people get an opportunity to mark the historic occasion. Further details will be revealed nearer the big day.
Leader of Reading Borough Council, Councillor Jo Lovelock, welcomed the announcement of the evening celebration.
She said: 'Being on the route of the Olympic Flame as it travels around the country is a fantastic vote of confidence in Reading by the Games organisers. It will be a great occasion for the whole town, giving everyone an opportunity to join in the spirit of the Olympic Games and be part of an historic event.'
'I am delighted that we are going to be able to mark the arrival of the Flame with a community celebration at the Madejski Stadium. I know this will be a fantastic occasion and a very enjoyable way of getting into the Olympic Spirit.'
Sir John Madejski, Chairman of Reading Football Club, said: 'We are all extremely excited that the Olympic Torch is coming to the Madejski Stadium, here in Reading. It is so uplifting to be part of this historic occasion.'
Chairman of the Reading 2012 Partnership Board, Andy Murrill said: 'It's a great honour for Reading to host the Olympic Torch Relay and a fantastic opportunity for the people of the town to play their part in the London 2012 Games. I hope everyone gives the torchbearers a warm Reading welcome and enjoys the once in a lifetime experience.'
'With the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics and Paralympics taking place on our doorstep, 2012 really will be a year to celebrate in Reading.'
For details of all the celebration events in Reading during 2012 go to our website www.readingy2c.org. You can also tell us about community events you are organising in 2012 and we will promote them for free.
The Olympic Flame will be paraded through the town on 10 July, 2012 as part of the build-up to the London Olympics. It will travel around the UK for approximately 12 hours each day, concluding on 66 of the 70 days with an exciting early evening celebration event that will enable thousands of people to enjoy a variety of entertainment staged by London 2012 and its three Olympic Torch Relay Presenting Partners.
Local Authorities such as Reading Borough Council are playing a key role in providing entertainment as part of the show.
Evening Celebrations will be free of charge, and each event will be different with locally programmed content on the stage which will add to the celebratory atmosphere. Many thousands more people are expected to celebrate along the route each day.
Reading is one of 66 Evening Celebration locations across the UK hosting an Evening Celebration as the Olympic Flame makes its journey around the UK during the 70 day London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.
As part of the events LOCOG and the Olympic Torch Relay Presenting Partners, Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB/Bank of Scotland 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.
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG, said: 'We have no doubt that Reading 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 Madejski Stadium venue. 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 Olympic Flame will arrive in the UK from Greece on Friday 18 May 2012 and the 70 day Torch Relay will start at Land's End, Cornwall on the morning of the 19 May 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 27 July 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. More information will be available through www.london2012.com/olympictorchrelay and in local press nearer to the start of the Olympic Torch Relay next year.