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Festive lights honour for speedway stars
THE Swindon Robins’ historic speedway victory will be celebrated publicly in front of hundreds during the Christmas lights switch-on in the town centre on Thursday, November 22.
Civic leaders wanted to do something to mark the Robins’ 95-89 Elite League title victory at the home of rivals Poole last Monday but ruled-out an open-top bus tour as it was deemed to expensivel.
An event at Wharf Green at the weekend was also off the cards as half-term activities were taking place, so town centre management firm, InSwindon, instead decided to invite the team to a special presentation on stage at the firm’s lights switch-on, in Wharf Green.
The evening kicks off at 5pm, followed by performances and presentations on stage before a countdown to turn on the Christmas lights at 7pm with an incredible display of festive fireworks.
InSwindon is planning to recreate the Olympic torch relay, with some of this year’s torch holders and some of the celebrities and performers “lighting” a giant torch with their own special torches, triggering the lights, confetti and other festivities.
Keith Chegwin, TV personality and star of Aladdin, this year’s pantomime at the Wyvern Theatre, will be hosting the event and brings his own unique energy and style which is sure to keep the whole crowd entertained.
Simon Jackson, the chief executive of InSwindon, said: “We wanted our annual Christmas lights switch-on to have the theme of celebrating everything British in 2012 as we have had such a fantastic year.
“With so many achievements throughout the country and indeed the town, we felt inviting Rosco and the team down was a fitting way to celebrate what has been a fantastic year for them, and Swindon as a whole.
“We have a great line-up of acts, including Swindon Dance, Ovation and The Big Sing as well as Swindon Town FC manager Paolo Di Canio, along with all our local Olympians, Parlympians and torch bearers.”
Coun Mick Bray, the mayor of Swindon, said Swindon Council would host a civic reception in the mayor’s parlour for the Robins and their guests before the public Wharf Green event.
“Please go,” he said. “All the chaps would welcome it. They have done their bit for Swindon. “I don’t know how many there are in the team normally but it’s a good thing for a small number of people to produce such a result.”
Coun David Renard, Swindon Council’s deputy leader, said: “From my point of view I’m delighted that we’ve finally been able to achieve the League Title after 45 years of waiting and I think it’s wholly appropriate to commemorate the Robins for their achievement “I’m really looking forward to the event.”
Robins manager Alun Rossiter said: “It would be nice to be recognised by the town because I do believe we’ve given the town something to be proud of.”
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