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The Torch Comes to Town (Posted On: Sunday, December 20, 2009)

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Be sure to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the Olympic Flame in person right here in our communities and feel inspired by its universal message of peace, brotherhood and friendship.

Day 60 December 28th - Celebrations in Owen Sound.  View Map.

Community celebrations in Owen Sound will take place at Market Square beginning at 6:00 pm. Among the festivities planned are music performances both in English and French by Deann Giroux and an a cappella choir as well as a musical presentation of Snow Wonder by the Owen Sound Little Theatre. Aboriginal and local dance demonstrations will take place prior to the lighting of the cauldron at 7:00 pm.
A school choir will also perform and celebrations will wrap up with singers Tara and Trevor McKenzie, Larry Jensen and Heyden Stewart.

Day 61 December 29th -  Owen Sound, Meaford, Thornbury, Blue Mountain, Collingwood, Wasaga Beach and Creemore

The official route starts today in Owen Sound at 7am (view interactive map) and then starts up again in Meaford at at 7:45am heading West on Highway 26.  At 8:23 the torch will travel through Thornbury. 

The first torchbearer will start at the intersection of Lansdowne St. and Highway 26, in Thornbury, and head eastward along the highway. The Torch will make a brief Community Stop in downtown Thornbury at 8:31 before continuing on along Highway 26 to Grey St.

From there the Torch caravan will move on to the Blue Mountain resort area, with the first runner starting at 8:53 a.m. on Grey Rd. 19 (Blue Mountain Rd.) near Birches Blvd. It will proceed along Blue Mountain Rd. and then Jozo Weider Blvd. to Mountain Dr.

The torch relay will arrive at the South end of the resort approximately 9:00 am as part of a convoy of vehicles, which will include torchbearer shuttles, media vehicles, relay support vehicles and police cruisers.  Temporary rolling road closures will ensure the safety of the torchbearers and spectators lining the relay route. The crowd will see a new torchbearer carry the Flame every 300 metres through the community as it travels on its 45,000-kilometre-long journey across Canada — the longest domestic torch relay in Olympic history.

To celebrate the arrival of the Flame, the community is planning a special ceremony involving two local torchbearers.  Torchbearer and 2010 hopeful in Paralympic alpine skiing, Melanie Schwartz, will carry the Flame doing what she loves best: skiing at Blue Mountain Resort. Schwartz skis on one leg by using two outrigger forearm crutches with shortened skis attached at the base for steering and balance. Her love of alpine skiing started at a young age.  She has competed in various races across North America and is training hard to achieve her dream of representing Canada at the Paralympic Winter Games and on the World Cup circuit.   
Torchbearer and Olympic snowboarder, Brad Martin, will also carry the Flame while snowboarding at Blue Mountain.  Now 21, Martin has been on the Canadian National Team since age 16 and finished 16th at the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games.  

The official route through Collingwood begins near Walmart on Cambridge Street at approximately 9:45am.  The torch will then travel east along First Street to Hurontario Street where it will travel south to Town Hall for approximately 10:06am.  At this time the torch bearers and relay crew will take a half hour break while Mayor Carrier and community representatives host a short celebration ceremony featuring the music of singer/songwriter Tyler Firestone, and the winning submissions of the Youth Community Celebration Contests.  At 10:36am the Flame will continue its journey through Collingwood heading south on Hurontario to Hume Street, and east on Hume to its departure point at Mike Jackson GM by 10:51am on its way to Wasaga Beach. The Wasaga Beach leg starts at 11:12am near Main and Mosley St. and leaves for Creemore at 11:30am.

There is a day of activities in Creemore starting at noon at The Station on the Green with an Opening Ceremony and street activities.  The torch is expected to arrive at 2:50pm.

Dress in your finest and warmest red and white Canadian attire and let your Olympic spirit shine with posters, bells, and noisemakers to cheer on the torchbearers. 

The 106-day Olympic Torch Relay will visit more than 1,030 communities and places of interest in every province and territory. On February 12, 2010, the Olympic Flame will make its way to downtown Vancouver to light the Olympic Cauldron in a magical and awe-inspiring moment before a television audience of three billion people worldwide, signalling the kick off to the start of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Contributors include Julie Card, Jamie Pettit,  Kelly O’Neil, Karen Cubit and Rob Potter.

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