Dover 2009 – Blériot Celebration – First Details Revealed of Dover’s Weekend to Remember

Dover District Council has revealed the first details of its plans for a weekend of celebrations next July to commemorate the centenary of Louis Blériot’s epic flight across the English Channel.

Throughout the weekend of 25-26 July 2009, Dover will host a prestigious international festival in celebration of Blériot’s achievement in becoming the first person to fly across the Channel, and to commemorate the pioneering age of aviation.

The weekend, which also marks the 50th anniversary of the first hovercraft crossing of the English Channel between Calais and Dover by Sir Christopher Cockerell, aims to be an event for all the family to enjoy.

Among the attractions on show will be:

  • A historic recreation of Blériot’s flight across the English Channel by the distinguished Swedish pilot, Mikael Carlson, flying one of his two Blériot XI aeroplanes
  • A procession of aeroplanes flying from Calais to Dover that will form part of an Air Pageant commemorating 100 years of aviation
  • Participation by the Royal Air Force featuring, amongst others, the famous Red Arrows
  • The transformation of the Seafront, which will be home to a number of Anglo-French and Anglo-Italian themed activities
  • A firework spectacular across the harbour on the Saturday evening, courtesy of Standard Fireworks.

Dover District Council’s Leader, Cllr Paul Watkins said: “This will be a truly memorable event that will play an important part in our continuing efforts to showcase Dover, its world class heritage, its town and its port. Dover 2009 will be an occasion for local people and also visitors from far and wide to experience the rich culture and heritage of Dover, the warmth of its hospitality, its proud history with France, its long association with the Armed Forces and its role as one of Europe’s busiest gateways. We hope that everyone will join in to make Dover 2009 a memorable event.”

To make Dover 2009 a truly international event Dover District Council is working closely with colleagues in the Communauté d’Agglomération du Calaisis (CAC) to ensure that the centenary celebrations are a prestigious showcase for Dover and Calais.

Monsieur Philippe Blet, President of the CAC said: “The centenary of Louis Blériot’s epic flight across La Manche, and the exciting plans now being developed, herald a new phase of cooperation between Calais and Dover especially as we look forward together to London 2012 and the opportunities for sustained economic growth.”