THOUSANDS are expected to watch as the Olympic torch is carried through the Lancaster and Morecambe district this Friday (June 22) in a “once in a lifetime” event.
Specially selected torchbearers will relay the flame through the streets on a 12-mile route as huge crowds line the roads hoping for a glimpse.
The historic event is part of the Coniston to Blackpool leg at the exact halfway point – day 35 – of the torch’s 70-day tour of the UK, which ends at the Olympic Stadium in London at the Games opening ceremony on July 27.
It will be carried on a coastal route through Carnforth (starting at 9.47am), Bolton-le-Sands (10.03am) and Hest Bank (10.20am), into Morecambe (10.36am), down the promenade, stopping for a photo opportunity at the Eric Morecambe statue (11.30am), before continuing down Central Drive and eventually onto Lancaster Road.
It will then head for Lancaster where it will pass Dalton Square before travelling up South Road, then on towards Lancaster University. Times are approximate.
Pupils will be allowed out of school to see the torch while shops, pubs and other businesses en route will be putting on entertainment to mark the occasion.
BBC TV cameras will be on the official torch vehicle filming the entire route for live streaming on the BBC website, while members of Morecambe Bay Movie Makers will film the entire event for local posterity.
Torchbearers include residents of the district who were chosen for their work for the community.
A large number of people are expected to see the relay and this will also increase the volume of traffic on the roads.
Coun Ron Sands, Cabinet member for tourism, said: “The Olympic Torch Relay is going to be something that most of us will never again experience.
“We’re expecting more than 15,500 schoolchildren to watch the relay and this is part of the legacy of the event, getting young people excited in sport and taking that on for the future.
“By turning up early people can find an alternative spot if their first choice is taken and avoid missing out.”
More details and further information are available at www.lancaster.gov.uk/london2012.
See www.thevisitor.co.uk throughout the week and this week’s edition of The Visitor for more on the torch relay.