Hot air balloon rides mark Olympic Torch

The Olympic Torch will be arriving in Alnwick in Northumberland on June 14 when the historic market town will be holding a festival to mark the occasion.

The week-long celebration, to be held between June 9 and 15 will include live bands, parades, sporting contests, a huge ferris wheel and hot air balloon rides. It is hoped that the event will attract considerable media attention and bolster local business.

The variety of events which are taking place as part of the event is quite innovative, ranging from local school choirs to a midnight walk to raise money for a local hospice and several unusual competitions, including a town criers’ competition and a contest arranged by the local WI to find the best sand sculpture.

RAF Boulmer, which has been stationed in Alnwick since the 1940s, is planning to tether a hot air balloon in The Alnwick Garden on June 14 when the torch arrives and will be offering hot air balloon rides across the town to capture the essence of the entire event.

Local food and drink producers will be holding a food festival and a beer festival to showcase local produce, while it is hoped that the various sporting activities which include competitions arranged by the local cricket, rugby, bowling, football and golf clubs, will establish a legacy of sport in the area. There will be displays of archery and fencing with one of the most unusual exhibitions likely to be a tournament of singlestick fighting, an 18th century form of self-defence.

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