Residents can experience history as Olympic Flame comes to township

On Dec. 28, the eyes of the world will turn to Wellington North as the Olympic Flame arrives here with the Vancouver 2010 Olympic torch relay.

“Wellington North is honoured to be one of over one thousand Canadian commu­nities,” said Mayor Mike Broom­head. “Everywhere you look, excitement is building for the arrival of the Olympic Flame in Mount Forest and everyone is invited to come out and cheer it on its journey to Vancouver.

“Wellington North is taking this historic opportunity to celebrate sport in our community and on Dec 28 we’re expecting hundreds to turn out for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the Olympic Flame in person.”

To celebrate the arrival of the flame, torch relay route celebrations will begin at 12:30pm in the downtown.

The relay will arrive as part of a convoy that includes torchbearer shuttles, media vehicles, relay support vehicles and pol­ice cruisers.  Temporary rolling road closures will ensure the safety of the torchbearers and spectators.

The crowd will see a new torchbearer carry the flame every 300 metres as it travels 45,000km journey across Can­ada – the longest domestic torch relay in Olympic history.

Spectators are invited to show support to torch bearers; those wearing red and white or a team uniform will receive a coupon for a free hot chocolate.

There will be a community celebration at the Sports complex immediately following the run, until 5pm.

Indoor events and activities include: a free skate from 1pm-3pm; games and obstacle course; face painting; a bounce castle; draws and prizes; balloon animals; free popcorn, cotton candy and snow cones; clowns; colouring contest display; Butter Tart Trail basket draw ballots, and more.

Outside there will be a snow building contest between 1 and 3pm. Everyone is invited to build snowmen, inukshuks, structures, and sculptures. All participants will receive entry into the random draw for prizes and get a free hot chocolate compliments of the recreation department.

 A celebration of sport in Wellington North will include a Sports display and demonstration in the leisure hall during the celebrations. In addition, the day will feature a Sports pro­cession commencing at 3pm, followed by on-ice dem­onstrations to introduce the official ceremonies beginning at 4pm on the ice surface.

 “Our goal with these celebrations has always been to bring the magic and excitement of the Olympic Spirit home to millions of Canadians no matter where they live and truly make these Canada’s Games,” said John Furlong, chief executive officer of the Vancouver organizing committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

The 106-day torch relay will visit over 1,030 communities and places of interest in every province and territory. On Feb. 12, the flame will  light the Olympic cauldron before a television audience of three billion people worldwide, signalling the start of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

For more information on the torch relay visit www.van­ Detailed street-level route de­tails will be available on the website approximately two weeks before the torch arrives.

At the Nov. 23 council meeting, Broomhead noted that while Arthur participant John Braby, will be running in Guelph and not Wellington North, he will be at the community centre with his torch.

He pointed to communities such as Orangeville and Han­over, where the groups are actually stopping.

“In 16 minutes they will be through the town,” Broomhead said. “The big event will be at the Sportsplex after they run through.”

He said, “We’re not a stop … but it’s a terrific thing. It’s going to be fun, eventful and big News for the community. I hope everybody takes part on Dec, 28. It’s going to be a great day for everyone, right from the little ones to the grandparents.” He asked everyone to get out red gear because he would like everyone to dress in red and white for the event.

“So don’t put all your Christmas stuff away too early.

There are a variety of ways to participate before the celebrations begin. The township is hosting a colouring contest for township residents 14 and under. To enter, simply draw and colour an original piece of art on a standard 8½- x 11-inch sheet of paper with an Olympic Games theme.

Entries are to be returned by mail or in person by Dec. 22 at 4pm to The Township of Wellington North, 7490 Sideroad 7 West, PO Box 125, Kenilworth, ON N0G 2E0.

Prizes of an Olympic torch relay package will be awarded to one winner from each age  group (ages 3 to 6,  7 to 10 and 11 to 14) chosen by lot. As well, a group banner contest is being held for Wellington North  organizations that create original art on a banner with an Olympic games theme.

Entries cannot contain logos, emblems, or corporate branding of any kind. Groups are encouraged to display their banner along the torch relay route on Dec. 28, prior to contest entry. Entries must be received at the Sports complex Dec. 28 by 3pm. All banners will receive an entry into the random draw for a pizza party for 30 people

The township is also interested in working with Sports teams, local groups and organizations wanting to participate in the event and also has volunteer opportunities and community volunteer hours available for anyone interested. Contact Donna Jack at 519-848-3620 or to discuss how to participate in Olympic history.