Games marquee wins village gold

Wrea Green Olympic marquee. Ribby with Wrea WI members lend a hand.

Wrea Green Olympic marquee. Ribby with Wrea WI members lend a hand.

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WREA Green’s own Olympic feature was judged a winner by villagers as soon as it got off the marks.

A marquee set up on the Green for the duration of the London Games was packed for the opening ceremony – and it continued to be so busy beer supplies had to hastily be re-stocked.

“We thought we had enough beer for a week but it had all gone by the end of Saturday night,” said Chrissy Wheatman, the Wrea Green parish councillor who first hatched the idea of the marquee to celebrate the Games.

Months of hard work by a group of volunteers together known as Wrea Green’s own Olympic committee culminated on Friday when the giant marquee opened to allow villagers to watch all the action from London on giant TV screens – and Chrissy and colleagues were delighted with the response.

“It really exceeded all expectations on Friday night and over the weekend,” said Chrissy.

“We were confident it was a good idea but it was wonderful to see so many people enjoying the pictures from the Games and having a drink and a good chat together. The atmosphere was wonderful and we are very much looking forward to the rest of the Olympics.”

Chrissy had the idea of the marquee while watching the Beijing Games on TV four years ago,

“I thought the Games are going to be in our country in 2012 –why not celebrate the fact in a memorable way?” she said.

As well as housing big screens to follow the Olympic action and being licensed until 11pm on weekdays and midnight at weekend, the marquee, which organisers hope will be self-funding, is hosting a number of special events during the Games.

A live band, disco and hog roast and a Last Choir Standing competition have already proved popular and tomorrow evening, there is a concert by the Swing Commanders, followed on Sunday afternoon by a family fun day, featuring a host of events, including an Olympic-themed fancy dress competition.

The family fun day is free, while the Swing Commanders concert is one of a number of ticketed events which also include a Mr and Mrs game show next Thursday, August 9 and a black tie dinner dance on Saturday, August 11.

The closing ceremony will be shown live on the big screens in the marquee on Sunday, August 12.