Olympic heroes homecoming parade for Plymouth details released
Thousands of people are expected to line Plymouth’s streets on Wednesday, September 19, as the city hosts a homecoming celebration for its London 2012 athletes and Games Makers.
Diving star Tom Daley, who won a bronze medal in the 10-metre individual men’s platform event and 15-year-old swimmer Ruta Meilutyte, who won gold in the 100-metre women’s breaststroke, will be among athletes taking part in the event.
Others confirmed include divers Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow, swimmers Antony James, Jamila Lunkuse and Jade Howard, fencer Corinna Lawrence, wheelchair basketball player Judith Hamer and Paralympic table tennis player David Wetherill.
Tom’s diving coach Andy Banks and Ruta’s swimming coach Jon Rudd will also be taking part.
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The homecoming celebration will include an open top bus parade and a stage event in the city centre, as well as a civic reception hosted by Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Councillor Michael Wright.
Deputy Council Leader Peter Smith said: “Plymouth is so proud of its Olympic and Paralympic athletes and this will be a chance for everyone to get together and celebrate their achievements up in London. It’s also an opportunity for us to say thank you to Plymouth’s Games Makers, who helped to make the event such a success.
“It’s fantastic that so many of the city’s sportsmen and women were selected to take part in the Games and that two of them have won medals. They are a true inspiration – not just to youngsters here in Plymouth but all over the country – some of whom will one day follow in their footsteps.”
The bus parade will start from Plymouth College, where Tom, Ruta, Jade and Jamila study, at around 5.15pm. It will head into the city centre via Peverell Park Road, Outland Road, the Plymouth Life Centre, Alma Road, Pennycomequick Roundabout, North Cross Roundabout, Cobourg Street, Charles Street, Charles Cross Roundabout and Exeter Street viaduct (above Bretonside) before arriving at the top of Royal Parade at around 5.45pm.
At this point London 2012 Games Makers from Plymouth are invited to join the parade in their uniforms and walk behind the bus as it travels down the Civic Centre side of Royal Parade. The bus will then turn left at Derry’s Cross and head along Princess Way and Princess Street before stopping on Armada Way, outside the Plymouth Guildhall, at around 6pm.
Please bear in mind that all times are approximate and for general guidance only.
The athletes will then be invited onto a stage in Guildhall Square (the paved area between the Guildhall and the Civic Centre), where they will be welcomed by the Lord Mayor and interviewed live on television by the BBC’s Natalie Cornah and David Fitzgerald. The event will finish at around 7pm.
Crowds are being invited to gather in Guildhall Square and on the piazza from around 5.30pm so they can cheer on the athletes and Games Makers and see them take to the stage. The live interviews will be relayed to the Big Screen, where highlights of the athletes’ Olympic and Paralympic performances will also be shown.
Following the stage event the athletes and a small group of Games Makers will attend a civic reception at the Council House, hosted by the Lord Mayor. Lithuanian Ambassador Dr Oskaras Jusys will be among guests at the reception.
City centre car parks will be open but are expected to be extremely busy and spectators are strongly encouraged to use local bus services to get to the event. First Devon and Cornwall is extending its park and ride service for the event to 7.15pm. Four extra services will leave Mayflower Street (PR1) and shelter B1 on Exeter Street Viaduct (PR2) at 6.42pm, 6.54pm, 7.06pm and 7.15pm. No buses will be serving Royal Parade between 5.30pm and 7.30pm.
A full list of city centre car parks is available at www.plymouth.gov.uk/carparks. For bus times and information visit www.travelinesw.com or call 0871 200 2233.
Motorists are advised that Armada Way will be closed between Princess Street and the Guildhall car park from 7am to 9pm and the whole of Royal Parade will be closed from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.
There will be a viewing area for disabled spectators in the Guildhall car park, which will open at 4pm. The nearest public toilets will be those in Armada Way, near the Sundial.