Hope readies to greet the Olympic torch

Plans are firming up for the Sunday, February 7 Torch Run in Hope with organizers hoping to greet the torchbearers with some unique events.

Chamber of Commerce president Victor Smith and Spirit of BC - Hope Region co-chair Kate Zabell presents three Hope Secondary students with a poster



Plans are firming up for the Sunday, February 7 Torch Run in Hope with organizers hoping to greet the torchbearers with some unique events.

The morning of February 7, or Day 101 of the run, kicks off at 7 a.m. at the Hope Legion with a First Nations welcome, dancing, drumming, music, and light breakfast snacks. Just before 9 a.m. residents will make their way from Fort Street in a grand procession to Wallace Street to see the torch pass by.

“About 9 a.m. organizers expect to see the first runners start off on the Old-Hope Princeton Way, down Sixth Avenue to Wallace, and down to Water Street, making a quick stop at the District Hall for a few words from Hope’s Mayor Laurie French. From there the torch travels out of the community along Highway 7.

“The public is then invited back to the Legion hall to meet the torchbearers, get their pictures taken, lift the torch for themselves, and see what all the excitement is about,” says Spirit of B.C. – Hope Region committee co-chair Inge Wilson.

“We have hundreds of lanterns that have been created” by students ….and residents to line the route after a series of lantern making workshops, adds co-chair Kate Zabell, “We are expecting a pageantry of amazing colour and creativity to light the way to the games.”

Camp Hope will also add to the excitement brightening up the torch parade with a host of volunteers carrying flags from each country competing in the games.

And then on March 9 comes the Paralympic torch run, adds Zabell, where Hope has been named a celebration site complete with a full stage to be set up in Memorial Park. From 4 – 6 p.m. residents and visitors to the community will be able to enjoy the 2-hour Olympic traveling show.

The Hope District Chamber of Commerce president has also been working with the committee to bring a carving exhibition to both events. On February 7th local carvers Pete Ryan and Randy Swope will put on a carving exhibition in Memorial Park and “both carvings are to be erected in downtown Hope.

On March 9 accomplished local artist Carl Stromquist will create a “very special” carving in Memorial Park along with a youth carver that he is mentoring, adds Wilson. “It will be a very unique First Nations design piece“ that will remain in the park, adds Wilson.

And then to add to the flare of the Olympic event, the mayor and his wife Elaine, using their locally known woodwork and seamstress skills, have a surprise of their own.

Come out and see Hope’s famous big bear sporting his own “unique 2010 games look that will clearly identify him as a Canadian sports fan of our winter pastime,” adds Wilson.

The great bear will be cheering on Team Canada only on February 7, so make sure you come out that morning, bring your camera, and capture a unique Hope moment.

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