Games opening ceremony to showcase the best of Guernsey!
Saturday 8 July from 5pm
Samba, bagpipes, a big band, cheerleaders, majorettes, and a vintage Guernsey tractor, are all part of the line-up for the opening ceremony of the NatWest International Island Games along the Town seafront. The details of the event on Saturday 8 July have been released, with the organisers promising a music-filled, heart-pumping spectacle that showcases island pride and friendliness.
The highlights include the water ceremony at North Beach, and the parade of around 2,500 athletes and team members from North Beach to the Crown Pier. There are no tickets for the opening ceremony or any of the Games sporting events because entry everywhere is free. North Beach car park will be closed from midday so that the stage, big screen, loudspeakers, and seating can be set up. The Town seafront will close from 4pm, and spectators are encouraged to assemble along the seafront and on North Beach from 5pm, when the Big Band Collective will be on stage to get the party started.
The ceremonial element will begin at approximately 6.30pm with some short speeches, and the symbolic mixing of waters, which is the Island Games’ equivalent of the lighting of the Olympic flame. After the Games are officially declared open and the Games flag has been raised and the oath taken, the teams will leave North Beach and parade along the seafront.
North Beach has room for up to 3,000 spectators, and there will be a big screen near the Crown Pier for those lining the seafront. The crowd around the Tourist Information Centre will be treated to family entertainment, including face painters, magicians, hair braiders, bubbles, a selection of film characters and Disney princesses, and six island mascots.
The LGBTQ charity Liberate will be handing out Pride in Sport laces and sweatbands. Visit Guernsey has thousands of flags to give out to spectators. Staff from the Health Improvement Commission will be distributing fruit. Around 300 volunteers in green t-shirts will be helping Guernsey Police and Guernsey Civil Protection to ensure crowd safety.
Regarding transport, the St Peter Port area will be extremely busy so the organisers are encouraging everyone to consider active or alternative travel. There will be extended bike parking areas, and park and strides from the top of the Val de Terres, Ladies College, Sir Charles Frossard House, and Beau Sejour.
The buses are free for the whole week of the Games, except the late-night weekend buses.
Salarie Corner car park, Castle Emplacement, and the Odeon car park will be open but are expected to fill up quickly.
In the six days that follow the opening ceremony, the athletes from the 24 islands will compete across 14 sports at 25 different venues.