Thousands of people are expected to line the streets of Langley when the Olympic torch comes to town in less than three weeks time.
“February 8 is going to be a historic day for Langley, one that I will remember for the rest of my life, and I suspect I’m not the only one,” said Township Councillor Jordan Bateman, who chairs the Langley torch relay committee.
“We expect thousands of people to line the route and take part in the various celebrations, so get your red and white on, get out early, stake out your spot and get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Anyone attending the day-long activities is encouraged to wear red and white to support the Canadian athletes who will be competing at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.
The Olympic flame, which is in the midst of a 106-day journey, covering more than 45,000 kilometres and visiting more than 1,000 communities all across the country.
The relay began back on Oct. 30 in Victoria and concludes on Feb. 12 in Vancouver.
The flame is expected to cross over the Golden Ears Bridge and into Langley at 8:52 a.m.
In Walnut Grove, it will come down 199A Street and then head east on 96 Avenue. At 208 Street, the torch will head south before making its way east along 88 Avenue and stopping at 216 Street at 9:36 a.m.
From there, the torch will make its way to Fort Langley.
It will be there between 9:40 and 10:45 a.m. The relay starts just west of Glover Road on 88 Avenue, heads east, then turns northeast onto Bartlett Street, west on Francis Avenue, and then northeast onto Queen Street. The torch will then make its way to the Fort Langley National Historic Site (23433 Mavis Ave.) before continuing west along Mavis and heading southwest on Glover Road back to 88 Avenue.
Free activities will be offered throughout the day at the Fort Langley National Historic Site.
The next route will be in Aldergrove and that leg of the journey begins at 11:04 a.m. on 32 Avenue east of 272 Street, where it will head east before turning south down Station Road, then travel west along Fraser Highway, and finally turning north onto 264 Street, where it will end at 11:29 a.m.
The Township will have a Spirit Stage, which will provide live music, set up on Fraser Highway just east of 272 Street.
From Aldergrove, the torch will make its way to Willoughby, running south down 200 Street from Highway One beginning at 11:49 a.m. The torch will arrive at the Langley Events Centre at noon.
Canadian Paralympian Lauren Barwick, who won both gold and silver at the 2008 Games in Beijing, will bring the torch to the LEC for the official lightning of the Olympic cauldron.
A community celebration will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. featuring free live entertainment and displays. There will also be a free, kids-oriented Torch Festival from 1 to 5 p.m. at the LEC, which features entertainers and activities. One of the highlights will be the Magical Theatrical Vending Machine. Slovakia’s Teatro Tatro turns a rustic truck into a marvel-packed mobile stage which features puppets, pantomime and sketch comedy based on Olympic sports.
The day wraps up with an exhibition women’s hockey match between the Russian and Slovakian national teams at 7 p.m. at the LEC.
Around 1:40 p.m., the torch will continue south along 200 Street, make a quick detour down 64 Avenue to 203 Street and back, and then continue south down 200 Street. It is expected to reach the Langley Bypass and the City of Langley border at 2 p.m.
The relay will travel in the same direction that traffic would normally flow and during the relay, certain roads along the route will be closed in the direction the procession is travelling.
Onlookers are asked to line up on the one side of the street only and drivers are asked to avoid the route areas, as traffic will be severely impacted that day.