Olympic torch heads to Blackpool

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The Olympic torch is set to visit Blackpool on its 70-day tour of the UK ahead of the 2012 London Games.

The flame will be carried through the resort June 22, though the exact route has not been confirmed yet. A welcome event will be hosted on the resort’s new Tower Festival Headland on the Promenade.

Alan Cavill, the council’s assistant director for economy and tourism, said: “We are very proud that Blackpool has been chosen to play host to the Olympic flame as it makes its way to the Games watched by millions.

“We are equally excited that we will be able to do the visit justice by hosting one of the first events on the new Tower Festival Headland that evening.”

London 2012 chairman Lord Coe has outlined a route of more than 70 overnight and island stops, starting at Lands End in Cornwall. The torch will arrive in London on the weekend before the 2012 Games begin.

It will have an outdoor events arena which can host 20,000 people, a piece of artwork called the Comedy Carpet and new improved pedestrian access.

Lit in Olympia, Greece, in a traditional ceremony, the Olympic Flame will be taken on a short relay in Greece before arriving in the UK exactly a year today.

In 2012 the final torch-bearer, whose identity is kept secret until the last moment, lights the monumental Olympic cauldron in the stadium, which is kept alight until the closing ceremony.