EXCITEMENT for the arrival of the Olympic torch in the region has reached fever pitch.
Thousands are expected to line the streets to welcome the iconic flame as it passes through Flintshire and Chester today and Wrexham tomorrow as part of its 8,000-mile journey across the UK.
The torch will spend two hours in Flintshire following its arrival in Connah’s Quay at 4.10pm.
Its journey will begin on Mold Road then High Street, then continue along the B5129 though Shotton to Queensferry.
At about 5.10pm it will be carried along Gladstone Way, from the junction with Cottage Lane (Strike’s Nursery) up to the Monument junction on The Highway, Hawarden.
It will then turn left and continue through Hawarden along Glynne Way.
As the torch completes its two-hour route through Flintshire, a celebratory event will be held at Deeside College where children aged between seven and 12 years from schools across Flintshire will be taking part in a ‘multi-sports heritage event’ from 3pm-5pm.
The final leg of the relay in Flintshire will see the torch carried along Saltney High Street, starting at approximately at 5.30pm at the B5129 Saltney Ferry junction and then on into Chester.
It will be carried through Handbridge, Grosvenor Park and into St John Street to the iconic Eastgate Clock.
It is scheduled to arrive at the Racecourse at 6.50pm, where there will be a celebration event, including a ‘Moment When’ dance spectacular involving a cast of hundreds of people.
Flintshire Council chairman Cllr Ann Minshull said: “I am delighted that the Olympic torch relay is visiting some of our local communities providing local people with a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the Olympic flame.
“The Olympic games have been a source of inspiration for athletes for over 100 years.
“I would encourage everyone who has the chance to line the route of the Olympic torch relay to welcome and cheer on the torchbearers.
“I would also like to thank local people and businesses in advance for their patience and understanding as we are aware that having to close roads for a period of time as the relay travels through the county may cause some inconvenience.”
In Wrexham the torch will begin its journey on Mold Road at 7.25am and will go via Regent Street, Grosvenor Road, Powell Road and Chester Street before arriving at Llwyn Isaf at 7.40am.
It will travel along High Street and Town Hill before reaching Bridge Street at 8.19am.
From there it will pass along Ruabon Road, Wrexham Road, Llangollen Road and Station Road and Trevor Basin ahead of its arrival at Pontcysyllte Aqueduct at 9.07am, where a canal boat will carry the runner bearing the flame across the World Heritage Site, built by Thomas Telford in 1805.
There will also be special performances form the Fron Male Voice Choir and the Llangollen Silver Band.
Wrexham Council says the authority had been warned by organisers to expect huge crowds.
Communications manager Sue Johns said: “There is a real buzz about the place which I don't think anyone at the council had anticipated.
“We have been working with North Wales Police to increase the number of stewards on the roads to cope with the extra numbers.
“It's certainly promising to be a fantastic occasion.”
The Wrexham branch of the North Wales Association of Church Bell-Ringers (NWACB) will perform The Five Rings at St Giles’ Church as the torch arrives in the town centre.
There will also be a party at Llwyn Isaf from 7am to include street entertainers, BMX bike tricks and ribbon dancers plus live music.
Glyndwr University will also be serving up free sausage baps, Danish pastries and hot drinks for its staff and students.
Food and drinks will be available on a first-come, first-served basis from the small car park area on the corner of the Racecourse’s Mold Road and Eric Roberts stands.
From the aqueduct the torch crosses back over the border to Oswestry and then on to Pant for 10.23am.
It comes back into Wales at Welshpool where it will leave Wales for the last time just before 11.15am.