Olympic village on our doorstep

Members of the 'Wrea Green Olympic Committee', who are organising a marquee on the village green for the duration of the Games. Prime organiser Chrissy Wheatman is far right.
Members of the 'Wrea Green Olympic Committee', who are organising a marquee on the village green for the duration of the Games. Prime organiser Chrissy Wheatman is far right.
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ON your marks – the Fylde is set for an Olympic village of its own as Wrea Green gets set to celebrate the Games in style.

As the Olympic Torch heads for St Annes, Lytham and Warton this weekend, the countdown is well and truly on for the first Games to be held in England for more than 60 years.

And Wrea Green residents are gearing up to really make the most of the historic event.

A giant marquee, with a capacity of 400 people, is to be erected in the centre of the village and will offer the chance to watch action from the Olympics live on big-screen TVs as well as hosting a series of special events throughout the duration of the Games.

The marquee is the brainchild of parish council member and former chairman Chrissy Wheatman, who came up with the idea while watching the last Games from Beijing four years ago.

“I have always enjoyed watching the Games and thought what a good idea it would be to really celebrate them coming back to England with a true community event in the village,” said Chrissy.

A family fun day, with free entry, is set for August 5, while a number of ticketed events will be taking place in the marquee, including a hog roast with a band, a sports quiz, a swing concert and a dinner dance.

There will also be a Last Choir Standing competition, involving five choirs, including Freckleton, Kirkham and Wrea Green, and that is already a sell-out.

But for the majority of the Games, which run from Saturday, July 28 to Sunday, August 12, sports lovers will be able to watch the Games in the marquee at any time, generally from 10am, with a bar license operative from 12 noon until 10pm four days a week and until midnight on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

More than £22,000 has been raised towards the cost of the marquee and facilities over the last three-and-a-half years by Chrissy and more than a dozen fellow organisers.

“It has been a real community effort and we are really grateful to people who have donated items, such as Richard Shorrocks in the case of the TVs and Lynda Lancaster with flowers,” said Chrissy, who has lived in the village for more than 20 years and has been a parish councillor for the last nine.

Full details about the marquee and events at www.wreagreen2012.com