The City of San Fernando will soon have history passing through its streets.
On Wednesday, July 22, runners and escorts — including members of the city’s police force — will carry the torch of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, known as “The Flame of Hope,” through downtown San Fernando on its way to Los Angeles for the opening ceremonies on July 25.
City officials are urging residents to line the streets in the San Fernando Mall District on San Fernando Road, and applaud those taking part in the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg, who will begin their run at 10:40 a.m. along San Fernando Road between San Fernando Mission Boulevard and Wolfskill Street, arriving for a ceremony at Recreation Park at 11 a.m.
San Fernando is one of 127 cities the torch will pass through on its way to Los Angeles, traveling 4, 648 miles in 12 days by three different routes. Running teams will include law enforcement personnel from Australia, Barbados, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the USA.
Among those to run with the torch are Special Olympics athlete and Final Leg runner Cody Pierce from Pittsburg, Kansas, and Ricardo Clayton, chief of Campus Police at the Meridian Public School District in Mississippi.
Both Pierce and Clayton will speak at the ceremony. Other speakers will include San Fernando Mayor Joel Fajardo and city police Chief Tony Vairo.
Recreation Park is located at 208 Park Ave., in San Fernando. The ceremony is free and open to the public.
The Special Olympics World Games are being held in the USA for the first time since 1999, when they took place in Raleigh, N.C. The games were last held in Los Angeles in 1972.
The torch began its California journey on Tuesday, July 14, on the steps of the state capitol in Sacramento.
The “Flame of Hope” will complete its journey when the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg team carries it into the Opening Ceremony of the 2015 World Games on July 25, and it ignites the cauldron at the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, site of the 1932 and ’84 Olympics opening ceremonies.
Over the next nine days, until Aug. 2, an estimated 7,000 athletes from around the world will compete in 25 different Olympics sports including swimming, track and field, judo, weight lifting, gymnastics, bowling, soccer, and volleyball.
The public can also see daily photographs, videos and read reports of the “Flame of Hope’s” journey online at: http://www.letr-finalleg.org/ and on social media with #FinalLeg2015 on Facebook and @LETRforSO on Twitter.