Blaine residents can join in on the Olympic spirit next week when the 2010 Olympic torch relay crosses through Peace Arch State Park.
Residents can see the torch pass through the park at about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, February 9 and pause under the Peace Arch monument for a short ceremony. The event will feature keynote speakers B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell and Washington Governor Christine Gregoire.
“Washington is delighted to be part of the 2010 Olympic torch relay, and share in the spirit of the Olympic Games,” Gregoire said. “This is another opportunity for Washington State and British Columbia to strengthen our partnership, and showcase our unique attractions and natural beauty that will attract even more visitors from around the world.”
The Olympic flame will be carried by an honorary Canadian and an honorary U.S. torchbearer, the names of which will be released closer to the event, said Bridgitte Anderson, press secretary to premier Gordon Campbell.
The park is accessible to people on both sides of the border without having to cross through an official port of entry but Anderson suggested visitors arrive early.
“We’ve had such a huge outpouring of support from the local communities we are encouraging people to show up early to make sure there is adequate parking,” he said.
Anderson said with more than 45,000 kilometers covered, the 106-day relay is the longest in-country relay in Olympic history. The relay began October 30 in Victoria, B.C.
From there, it traveled as far east as Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Foundland and back across Canada, visiting more than 1,000 communities and reaching almost 90 percent of Canada’s population within an hour’s drive of each community. It will spend a total of 27 days in British Columbia and during that time, be carried by 3,500 torchbearers.
After its stop near Blaine, it will continue on to Surrey, Richmond, West Vancouver and finally Vancouver on February 12, where it will light the Olympic cauldron in Vancouver’s B.C. Place Stadium\.
For a detailed map of the relay visit www.vancouver2010.com