Gathering children from all corners of Langley
While planning the party of the year may sound like a lot of fun, it is also a whole lot of work.
“It was tough (to organize),” admitted Township Councillor Jordan Bateman, chair of the Langley torch relay committee.
“There are so many moving parts to the whole day.”
When the torch comes to town on Monday, Feb. 8, the day will be marked with celebrations in all corners of the Township.
“The Township is very fortunate in that we have four very distinct torch routes (and) we wanted to make sure each community had their chance with it,” Bateman said.
The Olympic torch, which will be on the 102nd day of its 106-day 45,000-kilometre journey, is scheduled to cross the Golden Ears Bridge at approximately 8:52 a.m. on the Monday morning to begin its tour of the Township.
The torch will work its way through Walnut Grove, Fort Langley, Aldergrove and then Willoughby. Following that, the torch will visit the City.
And while the torch may only be in the vicinity for a short time, each location is having some sort of community party to celebrate the event.
“The community celebrations, it is a lot of moving parts ... there are always logistical issues, but the overwhelming spirit of the community, has been to make sure that the kids are involved and to have as much fun as possible,” Bateman said.
“I think we have been true to that.”
The Fort Langley National Historical Site will host one of the parties.
In Aldergrove, Bateman said local organizers have purchased red ponchos for every student to wear and each child will have a spot along the route to cheer on the torch as it passes by.
The organizers have also purchased enough red material to cover all of the buildings along the way.
“They are basically going to cover all of Langley in red,” he said.
Another highlight will be the Seventh Day Adventist Church, which has 100 flags of countries from around the world. And the plan is to have people waving the flags along the route.
Another major party will be at the Langley Events Centre.
Since the torch is unable to touch every corner of Langley, Bateman said they wanted to focus on getting as many people involved as possible.
“For the singing of O Canada, we have a choir of about 150 school kids and we asked the school district to send us kids from south Langley, where the torch relay isn’t touching,” he said. “We want to get those kids an opportunity, since the route doesn’t go by their school, to be a part of the celebration.”
The Langley Fine Arts School will also be involved.
“The great thing about them is they can present their story in so many different mediums,” Bateman said.
Also performing will be the Langley Gymnastics Foundation, which happen to be one of the tenants at the Langley Events Centre.
“We wanted some sort of athletic demonstration and the fact we are right there at their headquarters made them a natural fit,” Bateman said.
And Cole Armour will be performing.
“We have a great song that is perfect for the torch and perfect for his voice,” Bateman said. “He is going to knock it out off the park.”
Armour will be performing the song Go the Distance, which is from the Hercules soundtrack.
Also scheduled to perform will be the Celtic band, the Mad Celts.
“As an alumnus of Langley Community Music School, I feel proud to be included in the excitement of the Olympics,” said Joe McDonald, the band’s singer and bagpiper. “It only happens once, so I know I’ll remember this day for as long as I live.”