THE OLYMPICS may be being held in London, but that does not look like stopping Eastbourne locals from getting into the spirit of the Games.
Thousands of people turned out to cheer the torch relay through town and rail operators have been forced to lay on extra trains during the duration of the Games because of the number of people from Eastbourne who have been lucky enough to snap up tickets.
And tonight Princes Park is expected to be packed with revellers celebrating the opening ceremony, which will be beamed live on a big screen.
Director Danny Boyle has promised an extravaganza of an opening event and Eastbourne Borough Council to make sure local people do not miss out on the fun.
Some of the torchbearers from last week’s relay will appear on stage tonight as Princes Park launches its live coverage of the 2012 Games.
Starting at 6pm, athletics fans will be treated to a live roadshow featuring music from local bands, fun and games on stage, a live audience-cam, interviews with the torch bearers and live BBC footage from 9pm until midnight shown on big screen.
Eastbourne Borough Council’s head of tourism, Councillor Neil Stanley, said, “What a way to kick off our Olympic fortnight and celebrate with the biggest Olympic broadcast in Sussex.
“This should be the most amazing event we’ve ever seen, and celebrating with our torch bearers will be the icing on the cake.”
Tonight’s event kicks off just over two weeks of live footage shown on a 27 sq metre big screen at Princes Park from 10am to 10pm each day. Eastbourne is one of 26 approved sites across the country providing free TV coverage, sports and cultural events during the Games and the site also includes a wi-fi hub for workers avoiding the London commute.
Further activities planned during the Games include a family day on Friday August 3, an afternoon barbecue and picnic on Saturday August 4, when 25 gold medals are up for grabs, and a closing ceremony event on August 12.
Car parking is available throughout the two weeks on Five Acre Field, just opposite Princes Park – with a charge of £3 applying during Airbourne. It is free at all other times.