Greet the Olympic Torch with song, dance and breakfast

By on 22/06/2012 in News

Birmingham will welcome the Olympic Torch with a weekend of community driven cultural events along what will be its longest single journey through a town or city.

From breakfast to bhangra and 3D projections it is likely to be the most diverse set of events to greet the famous flame.

Along the 10 mile route there will be a variety of activities in the lead up to the Torch arrival at around 6.50pm on Saturday 30 June, when the Irish Pipes and Drums will welcome the Olympic Torch as it passes across the boundary on Dudley Road. There will be a Festival of Colour event in Summerfield Park which will feature the magnificent Lawk Naach dance performance as its finale, which is expected to set a new Guinness World Record for the 'Largest ever Bhangra & Giddha Performance'.

Cutting edge 3D film projections will illuminate The Mailbox in Birmingham city centre, with images and film produced by local people. There will also be a performance from the Rep Youth Theatre. In Calthorpe Park on the Pershore Road there will be the Brazilian salsa and samba dancing.

On Sunday 1 July at approximately 6am the torch will be sent on its way by the Lord Mayor and choir from Victoria Square. In Digbeth the Irish community will be serving up a full Irish breakfast and céad míle fáilte (a hundred thousand welcomes), at the Irish Centre and venues from 6-8am. As the Torch leaves the city via the Stratford Road, there will be a bringing together of music and arts from different cultures and faiths at the Sunrise in Sparkhill event from 5.30 - 8am.

Throughout the weekend there will be plenty of opportunities for local people to get involved with activities and family entertainments, as well as the chance to join in the communal performances of the especially composed Song for Birmingham at each of the venues.

The Irish Pipes and Drums who greeted the Olympic Torch into Birmingham will say a fond farewell from the city at the Robin Hood Island in Hall Green at 7.30am.

Sharon Lea, Director of Environment and Culture for Birmingham City Council said: “Birmingham is very much a part of the Olympics and local people have made an effort to welcome the Olympic Flame on its historic visit to the city. It will be a moment to remember for generations to come and will be our moment to shine”

For full details of all activities and the route of the Olympic torch please visit:


Media Contact: Jason Lewis:

tel: 0121 303 4266

Notes to editors:

Friday 29 June
7pm - 9pm

Adrian Boult Hall
A Song for Birmingham

Performances by choirs, bhanghra dancers and the Conservatoire Folk Ensemble with spoken word artists. Tickets: available from

Saturday 30 June

Birmingham Irish Pipes and Drums will welcome the Olympic Torch, Dudley Road, nr Grove Lane junction

Summerfield Park

12 noon - 6pm

Festival of Colours
Family entertainment with sport and local food and delicacies in the park.
The event will feature the first performance of the Song for Birmingham with Conservatoire Folk Ensemble and Community choirs, The Choir with No Name and bhangra dancers from Punch and Dance Sansaar performing their magnificent Lawk Naach dance performance.

The Mailbox

3.30pm - 7pm

Arts at the Heart
Stunning performances and 3D projections on the Mailbox by Holomedia.

There will also be performances of dance (Body Beat, Sticky Toffee, World Champions of Irish Dance (John Carey Dance Academy) theatre from Rep Youth Theatre & Community Vibe, Nutkhut stilt walkers and a fashion show from Joseph Chamberlain College along with films and Ukulele players.

Calthorpe Park (Pershore Road)
1pm - 7.30 pm

Birmingham to Brazil
Join in and learn some salsa and samba with the hottest sounds from Rio de Janeiro from Nuova Groupa plus local jazz groups from Moseley. There will also be family friendly sports events and creative activities for people of all ages.

Sunday 1 July

Victoria Square
5.45am - 6.30am

Dawn Chorus
Lord Mayor, choir and doves as a sign of peace and unity for the Olympic Games.

Digbeth 6am – 8am
Full Irish breakfast and Cead Mile Falce (many thousand welcomes) will be served at the Irish Centre, Hennessey's, The Rainbow, The Anchor, and Spotted Dog.

Sparkhill Park
5.00am - 8.30am

Sunrise in Sparkhill
Music, arts and breakfast. Different cultures share friendship and faith.

Birmingham Irish Pipes and Drums will say Birmingham's farewell to the Torch by Robin Hood Island at 7.30am.

Farm Park, Sparkbrook
11am - 4pm

Sparkbrook Unity Games
Family Party in Farm Park. Sports activities, music, dance and carnival for everyone.

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