A SPECTACULAR firework display and celebration event will be taking place in Weymouth and Portland to mark the arrival of the Paralympic Torch.

The borough has been announced as one of 34 communities across the country that will host ‘Flame Celebrations’ this summer as part of the London 2012 relay for the Paralympic Games.

The event will take place on the evening of Monday, August 27 with community celebrations that promote the Paralympic values of inspiration and inclusion, followed by ‘a spectacular firework display.’ The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) also announced that the Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, will officially open the home Paralympic Games in the Olympic Stadium on Wednesday, August 29.

The announcements came yesterday to mark the six-months-to-go milestone.

Portland sailing star John Robertson, who has been selected to represent Team GB in the Sonar keelboat class with his crewmates Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas, hailed the news as ‘pretty exciting’.

He said: “All these things are going to be happening here for the Games, it will be a great spectacle.

“It’s less than six months to go now and as it gets down to it, I’m sure everyone will be fully behind the team to do well.

“Most of the Paralympic sailing events will be in Portland Harbour and I’d be disappointed if people didn’t get their flags out on the beach.”

He added: “We’re really excited to be back training in Portland Harbour after being away for a few weeks in America.

“It always seems a bit harsher when you’re sailing in eight degrees and not 75 degrees but you’ve just got to wear more clothes.”

Between August 24 and 27, four flames will be lit in London, Greater Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff, as part of a new concept for the Paralympic Torch Relay.

Someone from the borough will be chosen to act as a Flame Ambassador to attend one of these events and take part of the flame back to the Flame Celebration in Weymouth and Portland.

Borough Mayor Graham Winter said: “I’m delighted it’s coming and we’re going to have a Flame Celebration.

“We’re fortunate to have the sailing events here and I think a lot of people who had doubt are suddenly realising it’s an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of an international event.

“Free fireworks sound good to me, traditionally we’ve always done good firework displays but if LOCOG is funding it, it sounds mega.”

The four flames will be united at the Paralympic Flame Lighting Ceremony on August 28 at Stoke Mandeville, the spiritual home of the Paralympic Movement and carried on a 24 hour overnight relay to London and the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games.