OLYMPIC TORCH 5.38pm: The Stade, Hastings, is filling up with excited crowds

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HUNDREDS of excited people are already at the Stade for this evening’s performance – with more arriving all the time.

Sponsors are giving out drums and ribbons to the crowds and the first act – History of Hastings – has just started, performed by Helenswood, William Parker, Guestling Bradshaw, Blacklands and Little Ridge schools.

Two members of the Sierra Leone Olympic team, who are training at William Parker School, mixed with the crowd, chatting and posing for photos.

Jenny Holden, with her daughter Sarah, 13, and son Jacob, 17, said, “Sarah really likes Rizzle Kicks so we’ve come along to accommodate her.”

Jamie Dunmill, 21, from Hastings, said, “We haven’t come just to see the Rizzle Kicks, we’ve just come to see what’s going on.”

And Tom Wynne-Pennels said he had come to support his sister, who would be performing in the Gecko Dancers.

Jeremy Birch, leader of Hastings Borough Council, said, “Everything is working out it’s going to be a really great event.

“Because of the security checks there are still large queues but St Leonards Festival is going really well and the town centre is full.”