Dover will be a blaze of fire and light to celebrate the launch of the national Cultural Olympiad, the four years leading up to London 2012, promoting 'the best of British' culture to the world.
On Friday September 26 the harbour will be the site of Light Up Dover, a dramatic and ground-breaking fire show remembering and celebrating the town's rich history and recognising the Kent campaign to welcome the Olympic torch relay into the UK through Dover, as it did at the last UK Games in 1948.
The show will also launch the Open Up weekend of activities, with a range of sights and attractions for local people and visitors to the town.
The event has been organised by the Kent Campaign for the 2012 Games - a partnership led and managed by Kent County Council's Sport, Leisure and Olympics Service. Partners and supporters for this event have included Kent County Council's Arts Development Unit, Dover District Council, and Dover Pride with the substantial support of Arts Council England and Dover Harbour Board. The spectacular display will be courtesy of pyrotechnicians The World Famous, a Kent based company who have combined fireworks, flames, special effects and theatre at events in the UK and across the globe.
The show will start at around 8pm with Dover's harbour animated by a magnificent pyrotechnic display, beginning with a moody meditation on the sea, culminating in great celebration of fire and the torch - linking the sea, the harbour, and the white cliffs. Nostalgic songs with a contemporary twist will be incorporated into a dramatic soundscape to accompany the show.
KCC Cabinet Member responsible for the Kent Campaign for the 2012 Games Mike Hill said: "This is an opportunity to celebrate Dover and its heritage and the part the town can play in the London 2012 Games. We are very grateful for Arts Council England's support for this innovative event which will show how passionately Kent feels about the Dover torch campaign and supporting London 2012. The Open Up weekend will open up the town to local people from Kent and visitors to the county."
Executive Director of Arts Council England, South East Felicity Harvest said: "We are very pleased to support this landmark celebration. Dover is the gateway to England and the last Olympic torch arrived in the country via its famous port 60 years ago. We welcome Dover and Kent's enthusiasm to show their potential to once again receive the Olympic torch in 2012. This outdoor event is part of the town's renaissance and a fantastic launch for the Cultural Olympiad."
Dover District Council Cabinet Member for Community, Citizenship and Sport Julie Rook said: "This is fantastic news for the area and is an incredible opportunity to celebrate Dover's world-class heritage and iconic coastline, and to highlight the major role the town can play in supporting London 2012. We are delighted to be working closely with KCC and partners to celebrate the Cultural Olympiad and to campaign to bring the Olympic torch through Dover."