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Torch bearers gearing up for flame's day in Halifax

The Olympic torch will spend an entire day in Halifax RegionalMunicipality tomorrow, and organizers say they’re expecting big crowdsto turn up to greet it.

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.