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Excitement builds for Olympic torch relay
SEVEN years of organisation will come to a head today as South Lakeland prepares to welcome the Olympic torch.
Following visits to Ap-pleby and Brough yester-day, the flame will today make its way through Grasmere, Ambleside and Bowness, before arriving in Kendal tomorrow (Fri-day) morning.
Leaving Cumbria after Milnthorpe, torchbearers will then travel into Carn-forth and Bolton-le-Sands in north Lancashire.
Thousands of people are expected to line streets for the historic ocassion.
Dan Schofield, advance manager of the Games organising committee, said: “When we planned the routes we wanted to give as many people as possible the chance to get involved, by ensuring that everyone could get to an event within an hour. In South Lakeland we have managed to beat this.”
The area’s most dazzling celebration will take place at Bowness, when The Glebe will host one of the official opening events for the London 2012 Festival.
The line-up includes singer-songwriter Katy B, indie rock-band British Sea Power and French Pyrotechnic wizards Les Commandos Percu, who are to send streams of light across the skies.
Local foodies will also be there, with a Westmor-land Catering Bus and the region’s producers sup-plying their delights.
The flame will arrive in Bowness on the MV Tern, operated by Windermere Lake Cruises, accompanied by a small flotilla.
SLDC chief executive Lawrence Conway said he was sure the event would be memorable.
“It is not just going to be something unique but something quite spectacular and special.”
The council has encouraged everyone planning to attend to consider their transport and parking options.
Coun Clare Feeney-Johnson said: “There will be shuttle buses running to and from Kendal, Ambleside and around Windermere and I advise people to check the SLDC website for details.”
Some chosen youngsters from Furness will arrive in style as John Woodcock MP has arranged transport in two vintage double-decker buses.
While the excitement rising, community leaders have paid tribute to the late Brendan Jameson, the council leader who worked tirelessly to ensure the district got not one, but five stops.
Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron said: “It is difficult not to think of Brendan as we prepare to celebrate an event which he was looking forward to so much. But as the eyes of the world will be on the South Lakes this will be a wonderful opportunity to showcase the surroundings and community spirit for which Brendan worked so hard for so many years. I know he would be proud.”