Essex County Council, Chelmsford Council and partners across Essex continue to celebrate around the county as the Sparks will Fly celebrations get underway.
The unique Essex-wide cultural celebration began on Friday 18 May. Marina Mightier was greeted by 1500 people, including 400 Harwich school children as she stepped onto Halfpenny Pier. Her journey then continued into the weekend with stops at Saffron Walden and the Tour de Tendring Cycle Festival.
Her competitor, Boreas Zephyr landed at Stansted Airport on Tuesday 22 May. He was greeted by VIPs from Essex County Council, Chelmsford Council, London 2012 Festival and Stansted Airport.
Following Marina’s early arrival in Essex, she had managed to collect three Glass Beads before Boreas had even set foot in the county. However, with several appearances by Boreas planned for the coming days, Marina won’t be in front for long.
Essex County Councillor Jeremy Lucas, Cabinet Member for Environment, Culture and Customer Service, said: “Sparks will Fly is a great celebration across the county and now both champions have arrived in Essex, they can continue their journeys and meet as many Essex residents as possible. I’d like to encourage Essex residents to come along to a Sparks will Fly event near them. Each event will have a great carnival atmosphere and there is so much to see for people of all ages.”
Nick Barton, Stansted Airport’s Managing Director, said: “Stansted Airport along with Air Harrods are delighted to team up with Essex County Council and host the arrival of Boreas and kick off the celebrations for the spectacular Sparks Will Fly event. We’re looking forward to celebrating the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and we want to share this wonderful experience with our passengers, staff and our local community.”
Boreas will make his next appearance at Basildon Sporting Village on Thursday 24 May at the Playing you Part Festival. This celebration will see sport and culture combine with visitors being given the chance to scale a giant rock climbing wall as well as watch dance and gymnastic performances and then take part in various arts and crafts. The procession with Boreas Zephyr will begin at 7pm, which will then be followed by the presentation on the Basildon Glass Bead.
Boreas will then be in Harlow on Sunday 27 May. Whilst here, he will process from Gatehouse Arts on Westgate and then onto Market Square for a dance performance and the presentation of the Harlow Glass Bead. The Sparks will Fly event is the finale of the Harlow Festival, which has been a month long celebration of all things art and cultural from the district.
There will be an opportunity for visually impaired audiences to meet Boreas and his entourage shortly before the procession commences. This will be led by one of the performers and will explain the performance and provide a tactile experience to help create a mental image of The Champion.
Please ring 01245 347456 in advance of the event to arrange a Touch Tour. This will take place at Gatehouse Arts, Westgate at 12.10pm.
For more information on the journey, visit www.sparkswillfly.org.uk
or follow the journey on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sparks_Essex
and Facebook: www.facebook.com/sparkswillflyinessex
For those residents that are unable to make it down to one of the Sparks will Fly events, a video containing highlights from the day as well as a selection of images will be made available on the Sparks will Fly website 24 hours after the event.