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It's showtime!

25 July 2002

The Opening Ceremony of the XVII Commonwealth Games is underway with a stunning show taking place at the City of Manchester Stadium tonight.

The Opening Ceremony

The stunning Opening Ceremony

Just before 11 o’clock, Her Majesty The Queen will read the message contained in the Baton that has travelled the Commonwealth since March. She will then declare the contest officially open.

A cast of thousands including internationally renowned artists are taking part in the spectacular performance.

Athletes from all 72 nations will parade around the Stadium before the Baton arrives and is handed to The Queen by terminally-ill six-year old Kirsty Howard. Little Kirsty will be handed the Baton by the last of seven secret celebrity runners.

A full review of the Opening Ceremony will appear here later this evening, until then we'll be updating the events as they happen right here on this page.

Team Australia

Team Australia arrive in the Stadium

Events so far:

20:20 - Prelude
21:00 - Manchester welcomes the world
21:12 - Arrival of dignitaries
21:20 - Raising of the three flags
21:21 - The arrival of the Queen
21:25 - Flypast from the Red Arrows
21:26 - The National Anthem
21:29 - Performance by 'S Club'
21:36 - The parade of athletes
22:30 - Performance by Russell Watson
22:35 - Raising of the ceremonial flag
22:37 - The competitors' oath
22:38 - Michael Fennell, Charmain of the CGF invites The Queen to open the Games
22:41 - the arrival of the Baton
22:49 - The Queen declares the Games open
22:51 - Athlete's departure with 21-gun salute
22:55 - Performance by United Colours of Sound
23:00 - The Spirit of Manchester (finale)
23:12 - Firework display

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