Ely Cathedral to screen the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony

RESIDENTS are being invited to watch the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games live in the splendour of Ely Cathedral, where large plasma screens will be erected to show every moment of the historic event.

Visitors can bring along a picnic to watch the spectacular ceremony, sitting under the magnificent Octagon Tower.

The ceremony’s theme is “Isles of Wonder” and it will include a parade of all competing nations and the entrance of the Olympic flame to signal the start of the games.

Doors to the cathedral will open at 7.30pm, and the building is due to stay open until 12.30am. Last year, the cathedral was packed with hundreds of people watching the royal wedding.

Lesley Ann Thompson at Ely Cathedral said “We could not let such a historic event go by without involving the cathedral in some way. This is a magnificent building and we are very keen it should be used within the community in this way. It will be a great opportunity to enjoy this historic occasion in such a memorable setting and to experience the wonder of the cathedral at night time”.

Light refreshments and a bar will be available, although organisers are happy for people to bring in their own refreshments or a picnic supper. Tables and chairs will be positioned in front of the screens under the octagon tower.

The worldwide broadcast of the ceremony will commence at 9pm. The event will begin with the sounding of the largest harmonically tuned bell in Europe, produced by the Whitechapel Foundry.

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The stadium will be transformed into the British countryside for an scene which includes real farmyard animals. The Ceremony will also include a special sequence celebrating the best of British.

Danny Boyle, artistic director of the ceremony, said: “Our Isles of Wonder salutes and celebrates the exuberant creativity of the British genius in an opening ceremony that we hope will be as unpredictable and inventive as the British people.’

There is no admission charge to the cathedral for the ceremony. For further information, visit the Cathedral website.