Local events aim to boost public involvement with 2012 Games

The Cultural Olympiad for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will kick off this month with a weekend of events taking place across the country.

Lord Coe with young stars, credit: Andrew Baker
Lord Coe with young stars, credit: Andrew Baker

On 26 September, cultural organisations throughout the UK will begin the celebrations with an ‘Open Weekend', offering the public a chance to see or take part in local events.

More than 500 activities are planned, with a weekend of illuminations, fireworks and laser displays taking place in Blackpool, and a mini Greek Games being held at new art and archaeology venue The Collection Museum in Lincoln.

In excess of £40m has been earmarked for the four-year programme, which is a partnership between the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), arts and cultural organisations across the UK and London 2012 stakeholders.

Future projects include a World Shakespeare Festival, celebrating The Bard's works, and Festival of Carnivals - five linked and themed street events across the country.

"In our bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012, our promise was -and still is - to make our Games accessible to everyone," said LOCOG chairman Sebastian Coe. "Open Weekend and the cultural programme over the coming four years shows our commitment to this."

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