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The Olympic Torch Relay hits Hackney!

Olympic TorchSaturday 21st July welcomes the Olympic Torch event to London, and the relay will be passing up Shoreditch High Street, just round the corner from the base office! There will be loads going on around Shoreditch and Hackney at the weekend as Olympic fever hits the area.

Sebastian Coe, Chair of the Games’ organising committee, says: “The Flame symbolises the Olympic spirit and its journey around the UK will bring the excitement of the Games to our streets. Now the people know the route the Olympic Flame will be carried along and the Torchbearers for their community, they can start planning how they might celebrate and make it Hackney’s moment to shine.”

An average of 115 Torchbearers a day will have the honour of carrying the Olympic Flame during its 8,000 mile journey around the UK. It will finally enter the Olympic Stadium on Friday 27 July, marking the official start of the London 2012 Games.

You can find details of the timings of the Olympic Torch Relay, beginning in Shoreditch at 15.54 and passing through various East London locations en route, on the Hackney Council site.

But what events are taking place in East London along the Olympic Torch Relay route this weekend?

The Once Hackney Festival Parade

On its first day in the capital city, The One Hackney Festival Parade will launch a welcoming celebration via a 2.8 mile parade route from Shoreditch to Stoke Newington, through Hoxton and Dalston. This is a truly community spirited event that the whole of Hackney can get involved with, and features fifteen festival floats in a spectacle of music, costume and dance.

The Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe, is encouraging everyone to get out and get involved, declaring that “We want residents to come out in force along the route to cheer Torchbearers as the Flame gets ever closer towards the Olympic Stadium.”

Shoreditch Festival 2012

Last weekend saw the kick-off of this year’s Shoreditch Festival. It culminates in a fantastic weekend of live music along the Regent’s Canal as Hackney welcomes the 2012 Torch on 21 July at 4pm – and it’s free.

Dance Nations Dalston

Another free outdoor event – we’re really spoiled for choice – is the Dance Nations Dalston event in Gillett Square on Saturday. Now in its third year, it’s an afternoon and evening of live music and dance. The torch will pass by ate afternoon. Check out the programme on the Barbican website.

Hackney Central Village Fete

From midday there will be a village-style fete in St John’s Churchyard and the Narrow Way. It will include folk dancing, singing and clowns, as well as the Hackney home-made market and more. The torch will be arriving at Hackney Town hall about 17:56. You’re likely to meet a fete on the road you take to avoid it, with all that’s going on this weekend. Read more details.

Mabley Green Hackney Homes Family Fun Day

At 18.20, the Olympic Torch will pass by Mabley Green, where from 2pm to 7pm there will be family entertainment and activities, with sports, stalls and the Hackney Homes Marquee. Read about the Fun Day.

So wherever you are in Hackney and East London, you’ll be able to find an activity to attend! Hosting the Olympics is one of those once in a lifetime events for London, so let’s make the most of it.

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