THE town of Bedlington is gearing up for the arrival of the Olympic Torch Relay next month with plans under way for a major carnival parade.
Determined not to be left behind as the torch passes through the county and onto their streets, social enterprise organisation Leading Link, the Bedlingtonshire Development Trust (BDT) and the Salvation Army are joining forces to ensure the once in a lifetime event will be one to be remembered.
The main focus of their plans will be a carnival parade preceding the torch procession.
It will feature a giant Bedlington Terrier, clowns, street performers, a brass band, dancing and cheerleading to name but a few.
Malcolm Robinson, chairman of the BDT, said: “With more than 2,500 young people, families and community residents lining the main thoroughfare of Front Street, the group felt that we had to ensure that the momentum and excitement of this historic event is captured and remembered as being a truly great day for us all here in Bedlington.”
The organising team are working with West Bedlington Town Council, schools and local providers and hope to involve as much of the community as possible.
The most ambitious part of the plans is to create the massive ‘walking’ Bedlington Terrier along the lines of a Chinese dragon.
Now the hunt is on to find artists willing to help create the centrepiece.
It is hoped children and young people representing each of the Bedlington schools will come together to bring the Terrier to life on the day.
There is also a big call for anyone who can play a brass instrument to come forward to join the band walking down Front Street.
There are several band practices planned before the event to ensure the music is heard for miles around, however, you must bring your own instrument.
The parade will culminate in the market place where organisers hope there will be exhibition stalls and a ‘town crier’ giving spectators updates on the progression of the torch.
The event is being covered by St Benet Biscop High School’s BBC roving school reporters.
If any local groups or individuals would like to take part in the carnival parade or help with the preparations, contact Lyn Horton at Leading Link on (01670) 820088 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The Olympic torch will travel through Bedlington on June 15.