City plans night to remember as it welcomes the Olympic torch

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CELEBRATIONS to welcome the Olympic Torch Relay to a Yorkshire city will be free and open to everyone, organisers revealed yesterday.

Sheffield Council said an “evening celebration event” had been planned for the city centre’s Barker’s Pool, with a capacity crowd of 10,000 people expected.

Sheffield is one of only five overnight stops for the torch in Yorkshire, something which senior councillors said was “a reflection of the city’s high national sporting profile”.

Council leader Coun Julie Dore said: “The arrival of the Olympic Torch in the city on June 25 will be the culmination of years of work and preparation.

“We have made sure Sheffield gets every possible benefit from the games coming to the UK. It is great to see the city recognised in this way, and we will be putting on a night to remember.

“Barker’s Pool has been chosen because of its convenient city location. It has a capacity of 10,000, and we can confirm that the evening event will be free so we hope as many Sheffield residents as possible come along to witness this historic moment.

“Sheffield is benefiting from Olympics related activity to the tune of £19m, and last month we hosted the first major international pre-Games training camp in England, as the USA Olympic diving team came to train in the city.

“It’s great to see the benefits of the Olympics extending beyond the capital, and I can’t wait to showcase Sheffield city centre to the world.”

Coun Dore said the evening celebration will include music and other performances by local celebrities and dignitaries, and culminate in the arrival of the Olympic torch itself.

The event will not be ticketed, but the council said full security arrangements would be in place to ensure the safety of the crowd.