Council reveals celebrations to mark Olympic Torch arrival

Pictured as they check out the route of the Olympic Torch through Magherafelt are Magherafelt council chairman Ian Milne with (from left) Devina McCartney, Town and Community Re-Generation officer, Michael Brown, event organiser, Patsy Forbes, Torch Bearer, Anne Marie Campbell, Director of Policy and Development, Peter Donnelly, principal at Holy Family PS and member of the School's organising committee and Charmain Bell, Tourism Officer.mm13-195ar.

Pictured as they check out the route of the Olympic Torch through Magherafelt are Magherafelt council chairman Ian Milne with (from left) Devina McCartney, Town and Community Re-Generation officer, Michael Brown, event organiser, Patsy Forbes, Torch Bearer, Anne Marie Campbell, Director of Policy and Development, Peter Donnelly, principal at Holy Family PS and member of the School's organising committee and Charmain Bell, Tourism Officer.mm13-195ar.

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MAGHERAFELT District Council has planned a number of exciting activities surrounding the arrival of the Olympic torch relay to make sure the once-in-a-lifetime event is one which will be ingrained in our memories.

The inclusive celebrations are expected to be the biggest participating events ever organised by Magherafelt District Council and include a collaborative art project; a community carnival parade and a schools’ celebration.

The community carnival parade will take place on June 6 in Magherafelt and is expected to attract large crowds in the build-up to the arrival of the world-renowned flame.

The carnival will kick off at 6pm and include evening entertainment in the Diamond area with a celebration of excellence both in dance and music. The Council is delighted that the North Eastern Education and Library Board are making available their full broadcast production team to produce an on-line recording of the event.

Groups, charities and businesses from across the Council district have been asked to get involved and dress up carnival style. The emphasis will be on visual expression and groups can use the event as a platform to increase greater awareness about their cause.

£200 prizes will be awarded to winning groups from each of the following categories: Most original group; Most colourful group; Most expressive group; Most musical group; Most relevant to the Olympics.

No one group will win more than one prize and groups will be asked closer to the time to nominate which category they would like to enter.

In the run up to the celebrations, residents of the district will be asked to nominate individuals as their Olympian Greek god or goddess. Nominees should be sports people who have been successful nationally or internationally. The top 12 nominations will then become Magherafelt’s 12 Olympian Greek gods/ goddesses who will be profiled before and during the events and form part of the carnival parade.

As part of the collaborative art project, community groups and schools are producing a piece of art/graphics to be transferred on to a ceramic tile. The Northern Regional College has agreed to produce a frame for the tiles which will be used to create an abstract torch shape. The artwork will express collectively what this event represents to people of the district and form part of the legacy of celebrations. The torch will then be installed as a piece of public art at an agreed site.

In addition to the images being used on the art piece, the images will also be displayed on banners throughout the town as part of pre-event marketing.

Groups have be asked to submit a 21cm X 21cm image on paper before March 31. After this a workshop will be held on Saturday April 24 where an artist will help transfer the image on to a ceramic tile.

Currently 29 schools have signed up and agreed to take part in the schools celebrations on June 7. Schools have been asked to submit numbers and to date over 2000 children have signed up to take part on the day. On the morning of the torch arrival, schools will be involved in a series of celebrations and displays at Meadowbank Sports Arena, which will start at 10am and will finish off with the children lining the streets during the torch visit.

One of the highlights of the morning will see all the children coming together to form a visual display which will be recorded and transmitted live. Friends and family throughout the world as well as school children not at the event will be able to watch the display via internet live streaming.

For further information, please contact Michael Browne, Davina McCartney or Charmain Bell on 028 7939 7979 or email olympictorch@magherafelt.gov.uk