After a long and eventful journey through communities in Canada’s North, Quebec, Newfoundland and parts of Nova Scotia, the Olympic torch has finally arrived in Halifax.
The municipality’s moment of Olympic glory is scheduled to start this morning at 11:30 a.m. sharp - and has been timed down to the minute.
Police and traffic officials are warning motorists to prepare for delays as the flame is passed between more than 180 torchbearers in Cole Harbour, Dartmouth and Halifax – eventually finishing the day in Grand Parade Square, where a massive celebration is set to begin around 6 p.m.
Preparations were well underway yesterday as crews worked to make sure the relay goes off without a hitch. HRM Event Coordinator Mike Gillett said he’s expecting a big crowd to turn up for the grand finale.
“I would say we’re looking at 7,000 people in Grand Parade,” Gillett said, adding that anyone wanting to secure a good spot should arrive by 5:45 p.m.
Olympic snowboarding hopeful Sarah Conrad was selected to light the community cauldron on the steps of City Hall. The 24-year-old will snowboard down Citadel Hill and then grab the torch from Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby before running it toward the finish line.
“It’s nice to give back to the community and really show them what all the support has enabled me to do,” Conrad said yesterday.
Originally from Dartmouth, Conrad is one of several athletes who will treat the crowd to a snowboarding demonstration on a 24-foot structure erected in Grand Parade especially for the event. She said she hopes the demonstration will encourage young people in the community to “grab a snowboard, not a video game.”