The Olympic torch will spend an entire day in Halifax Regional Municipality tomorrow, and organizers say they’re expecting big crowds to turn up to greet it.
Officials released a detailed schedule yesterday outlining the day’s events, set to begin at 11:25 a.m. along the Shubenacadie Canal in Waverley. The flame will pass between two kayaks in the middle of the canal before heading on to North Preston for a quick lunch break at the Black Cultural Centre on Cherry Brook Road.
It will then snake through Cole Harbour, Dartmouth, and finally Halifax – making stops at the Dartmouth Peace Pavilion around 2:30 p.m. and Pier 21 at 5:50 p.m.. Police and traffic officials are warning motorists to expect brief delays as the torch moves through the city, accompanied by about a dozen vehicles.
The last hour of the relay is expected to be the most widely attended, with hometown hockey hero Sidney Crosby carrying the torch around 6:50 p.m., and then passing it to Olympic snowboarder Sarah Conrad, who will light the community cauldron in Grand Parade at 7 p.m.
Conrad will then treat the crowd to a snowboarding demonstration on a platform constructed specially for the event. Several musical acts and a fireworks demonstration are planned to cap off the day’s festivities.
Pictou County resident Gary Hollett said he’ll be right in the thick of things – watching the torch’s progress in anticipation of his own run with the flame when it returns briefly to Sackville on Friday.
“In 1980, I was fortunate enough to be in the Lake Placid Winter Olympics as an on-ice official,” Hollett said yesterday. “I saw this as an opportunity to meet an old friend and carry the torch again 30 years later.”
The 63-year-old marathon runner and prostate cancer survivor said he’s most looking forward to seeing his eight-year-old granddaughter, Sophie Rose, cheering him on from the side of the route.
“I want to enjoy every metre of those 300 metres,” he said.