Advertorial: Enjoy London’s Olympic Spirit without a ticket

If you live in London or plan on visiting the city during the 2012 Olympics, you’ll be glad to know you can take part in the festivities without spending a lot.

Olympic games are notoriously expensive wherever they happen to be held, but residents and tourists will have the chance to join in the celebration without buying tickets.

The months leading up to the 2012 Olympic games promise to bring free-admission street parties, musical celebrations and more to the streets of London. Revellers will enjoy free concerts alongside the River Thames, and the city’s tourism board has a number of other gratis events planned for members of the general public.

The London 2012 Festival is planned as a companion to the Olympic Games. Spectators will have plenty of entertainment options, from theatre and live music to carnivals. With an attendance cap of ten million, most people should have no problem seeing at least some of the festival events at no charge.

Among the many events at the London 2012 Festival is the “River of Music.” The two-day concert will feature musical acts from each of the 205 nations taking part in the Olympic games. Performances will take place at various important landmarks along the River Thames, offering a way to catch the Olympic spirit whilst taking in the city’s amazing sights. The “River of Music” event is scheduled for July 21st and 22nd.

The much-anticipated appearance of the Olympic torch from its home in Greece will kick off the first round of street parties all around England. For an awe-inspiring glimpse of the torch as it makes its way to London, many will hire cars and head for other towns around the country. Smart motorists will remember to check car hire insurance rates well in advance.

Just weeks after the mid-May torch-bearing ceremony comes the Diamond Jubilee celebration. Londoners will fete the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. A number of pageants and a fleet of hundreds of boats -- one carrying the Royal Family -- floating on the River Thames are sure to spark excitement and civic pride in a city already enthusiastically anticipating the Olympics. The Olympic game site will be renamed “The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park” after the end of the 2012 games.

Spectators will even be able to watch certain Olympic events at no cost without tickets. Marathons and cycling events offer an opportunity to view top athletes in action. The races start and end near Buckingham Palace on the Mall. Needless to say, finding a decent spot from which to watch the runners and cyclists will require some serious planning.

Watching the Olympic games on giant screen televisions in certain public spaces should prove a little less tricky. Fans can view the games’ medal events at Hyde Park, Victoria Park and Trafalgar Square. Those traveling to London for the Olympics will benefit from scrupulous planning, from booking accommodations and flights or other travel well in advance to choosing the proper travel and car insurance.

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