By Kate Scotter
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Norwich showed the nation how to party as thousands of people packed into Chapelfield Gardens to celebrate the arrival of the Olympic Torch.
The 16,000-strong crowd marvelled at daredevil stunts, sang along to live music and joined in the entertainment as they waited for the historic flame to make its way into the city centre.
The sun-basked celebrations were kicked off by the Norwich City Council-commissioned show The Pulse which saw local talent dance, sing, cartwheel and hula hoop as part of their specially-created spectacular.
Their performance was followed by a string of entertainment presented by the three Olympic Torch partners Coca Cola, Samsung and Lloyds TSB which included crowd pleasers Twist and Pulse - aka Ashley Glazebrook and Glen Murphy - and alternative rock band Morning Parade.
Meanwhile, families tucked into ice creams, youngsters played in the park and people joined long queues for the opportunity to have their photo taken with an Olympic Torch.
A gong sounded when the Olympic Torch was about to arrive and 24-year-old Charlotte Peck could be seen running into the park, bearing the golden torch and a large smile as she was given her moment to shine.
The city centre park was filled with noise as the nursery nurse lit the cauldron on stage.
Miss Peck, who was nominated by her mum for her voluntary work as a Community First Responder, said: “It was amazing, I couldn’t believe how many people there were. It was lovely to be part of it. Only 8,000 people were selected and to be one of them is incredible.”
After the lighting of the cauldron, the cast of The Pulse once again took to the stage to close the celebrations, Elvis tribute act The Blue Sueders performed on the bandstand and people headed out of Chapelfield to enjoy the on-street entertainment.
Cate Segar, 27, from Bowthorpe, said: “It was really exciting when the torch arrived.”
Lee Higgs, 27, from Watton, said: “It was absolutely amazing.”
Meanwhile, event organisers said it was “more than they could have ever wished for”. Brenda Arthur, leader of Norwich City Council, said: “What a fantastic occasion - Norwich gave such a warm welcome to the Olympic Torch.”