The 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow kick off on Wednesday with the much-anticipated opening ceremony at Celtic Park.
Ahead of 11 days of competition in 17 different sporting disciplines, the ceremony in Glasgow will feature an array of Scottish performing talent as well as the parading of the athletes set to take part in the Games.
The host nation's flag will be carried by judo veteran Euan Burton, as confirmed by Team Scotland:
Read on for a full preview of the event as well as scheduling information as the Commonwealth Games get under way.
Date: Wednesday, July 23
Time: 8 p.m. BST, 3 p.m. ET
TV Info: BBC1 (U.K. only)
Live Stream: BBC iPlayer (U.K. Only)
Glasgow plays host to the Commonwealth Games for the first ever time with Edinburgh having brought the event to Scotland on two previous occasions.
For its 20th edition, the Games will be participated in by 4,500 athletes from the 71 participating nations, all of whom will be on display in Wednesday's event at Celtic Park, with each country being introduced by a different citizen of Glasgow.
A reported 40,000 spectators will take their seats at the home of the Scottish Premier League champions as 3,000 volunteer cast members put on a show aimed at celebrating "the commonality and shared qualities of the Commonwealth – the true spirit of unity and diversity," per the Games' official website.
A variety of Scottish musical acts and icons will take to the stage to perform at the event, including Rod Stewart, Susan Boyle and Amy McDonald.
Glasgow 2014 head of ceremonies David Zolkwer has promised that the show will reflect the nature of the host city, per the Daily Record:
We knew right from the start that the source of inspiration and the voice and character and personality of the ceremony had to reflect and explicitly include the people of the city. [...]
We have a mass cast but we have set out to represent lots and lots of individuals. There is relatively little in the show that is about mass synchronicity. You will see lots of individuals encouraged to do their own thing, in a rehearsed and considered way. It's not about homogenising the city or asking them to pretend to be anything other than who they are.
The overall aim of the event is, of course, to officially open the Games ahead of the coming days in which athletes will compete in everything form lawn bowls and judo to cycling and athletics.
And indeed, the Queen herself will declare the opening of the Games by reading a message contained in the baton which has been at the centre of the 190,000 kilometre, 288-day relay through each competing nation.
It is sure to be a spectacular show and a fitting opening to the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. After the success of London 2012, there is a positive feeling that the same kind of excitement can be generated for this event.
With some top-quality competitors set to be on show in the coming days, including the likes of Mo Farah and Usain Bolt, there is much to be excited about, and it all gets under way in Glasgow on Wednesday.
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