Ilford celebrates Olympic Opening Ceremony in style

While all eyes were on Stratford and the Olympic Opening Ceremony, Redbridge held its own celebration to mark the start of this summer’s Games.

More than 1,000 people got into the spirit of the Games and celebrated with live performances and food from around the world in High Road, Ilford on Friday.

The Showtime event was part of the Mayor of London Presents programme across the capital, which saw The Bureau of Silly Ideas’ troupe come dressed as acrobatic road workers to combine high jinks with flying cones.

Visitors enjoyed great food from the International Food Fair and the Opening ceremony screened live on dual sided television screens.

Co-ordinator Diane Norton said: “There was a real celebration in the town centre on Friday and we were delighted that so many people came to enjoy the entertainment. Face painters were working overtime and the stalls were busy.

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“We feel that we got our Olympic Games programme off to an excellent start, and there is plenty more to come.”

All of the entertainment was provided by the Ilford Business Improvement District (BID) in partnership with Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure

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Les Grooms also provided music and comedy called Fanfare Tout Terrain and the 3rdThought theatre company performed poems, stories and jokes.

Steve Miller, project and programmes manager for the Ilford BID, added: “We were keen to make sure that the residents, local businesses and the visiting public were able to remember how they celebrated this once in a lifetime event here in Ilford”.

The screens and the food market will remain in the town centre until August 12, together with a programme of entertainment and sporting events.

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