Looks kids – it’s the Olympic torch! (are we allowed to say that?)

I’m not sure if we’re going to get shut down by the Brand Police for referring to the big ‘O’ but we’re all about high-risk, investigative journalism here at Wideopenmag so we’re willing to give it a try. Last night the OLYMPIC torch (the cops haven’t turned up yet so I’ll keep going) turned up in Bristol and was proudly paraded through the streets – being the ambassadors for sporting excellence that we are we didn’t waste any time in checking out the festivities.

Things were pretty exciting in the center of Bristol with cops everywhere, roads closed and the streets lined with kids waving union jack merch. They love a party in Bristol and nothing says ‘party like it’s Saturday night at Glastonbury’ like a bloke in a grey tracksuit running through the streets with a big burning stick on a Tuesday night. The photo (above) is our mate Rich celebrating the spirit of the Olympics whilst we waited in feverish anticipation for the tracksuit bloke to appear.

Things got really exciting as the merch guys whipped us into a frenzy with GB flags and horns.We bought a horn which turned out to be really annoying but worked well for decanting beer through.

Suddenly everything kicked off and the police turned up on horses – cue more cheers and waving of our branded merch. We assumed someone had said ‘Olympics’ in the wrong way or tried to use the wrong type of credit card when buying their merch.

A particular crowd favorite was cheering anyone that ran or cycled past as if they themselves were in fact the bearers of the Olympic flame. We cheered, they laughed, one lady fell off her bike. More merch waving. Great stuff all round.

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Suddenly this bloke turned up in his tracksuit – and got a hearty cheer – but he seemed a little bit unenthusiastic and his torch wasn’t lit so we assumed he was probably not what we’d come for. More cheering though. You can see a great example of some GB merch in the photo with a GB branded snake thing on a stick. The kids loved those.

And then suddenly – out of nowhere – when we all thought it wasn’t going to happen – there was grey tracksuited Olympic Torch Guy. He looked super happy and was surrounded by tracksuited cops so was definitely our man. He got a hell of a cheer and we were all filled with the spirit of sporting endeavor. Hooray!

We felt this picture embodied the spirit of the Olympics nicely. People coming together from many different nations and cultures to share in a love of sports.

And finally – the council put on a free music festival in the middle of town featuring Alice Russell and the Quantic Soul Orchestra. We all paraded through the streets of Bristol and were herded by the Police into Millenium Sq. We were pretty sure we were being kettled at one point and were ready to defend our civil liberties but it turns out they just had a one-way system for getting in and out. With our civil liberties in tact we drank cider and enjoyed the free music. Great fun and no one was arrested by the brand police!

Has the big burning stick visited your town? Tell us here!


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