Thousands of revellers turned out in Congleton to see the official start to the Queen’s Baton Relay to mark the Glasgow games next month.
Cheshire East Council and the newly-formed Everybody Sport and Recreation Trust organised the huge event from start to finish and has been hailed an overwhelming success.
Around ten thousand people attended Congleton Park on Saturday after free tickets were offered through the Council’s website and partners.
Council Leader Councillor Michael Jones said it was one of the most well-organised and well-attended events in the borough for a long time.
“This was spectacular and a huge thank you must go to all the residents, who turned out to support this event, as well as all the staff and volunteers, who helped make the day a success.
“The media were there in force and the event itself has really put Congleton on the map in terms of a place where events of this scale can be held.
“It was a great family day out and just goes to show what Cheshire East can achieve when it works together with the community to bring a national event to our doorstep.”
Two local figures were nominated to be the official baton bearers, Crewe-based Jane Whetnall and Congleton’s Ann Brightwell, who are both MBEs.
Jane was the Team GB special Olympics gymnastics coach and was chosen for the honour to recognise her 30 years of commitment to encouraging and training disabled athletes. She now runs the Cheshire Academy of Integrated Sports and Arts, on Broad Street, in Crewe.
Congleton’s Ann Brightwell MBE, who as Ann Packer, won the Gold medal in the 800 metres at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo.
The event was focused around Congleton Park, the leisure centre and Hankinson’s Field. Local schools were invited to attend as well as community groups, the Athlete Performance Academy Group and the ever-popular Congleton Artisan Market.