Birmingham is hosting a huge celebration event as it welcomes taking on the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The official handover took place at a closing ceremony for the 2018 games on Australia’s Gold Coast in front of a TV audience of up to one billion.
A 15-minute performance has told “the story of a city that is young, diverse and full of talent”.
It is one of the most ambitious live choreographed sequences attempted in Commonwealth Games history.
Birmingham 2022 organisers said it would be “an opportunity to share this amazing city with the world”.
The council house has been adorned in luxury red and gold trim curtains and spectators have been gathering outside for the event.
Live updates on closing ceremony
Tina El-Jamal, 57, daughter Elise Sharpe, 15 along with Ruth Hammersley, 63 and Calisto Mitto, travelled from Sheffield to see the rehearsals.
Ms El-Jamal said: “I can’t believe its actually happening here. The city should be so proud.”
Ms Mitto said: “I’m very excited to be here. I’ve never been to anything like this before.”
Elise added: “I’m impressed how Birmingham is going to host all the events, from the basketball to beach volleyball – it won’t be like Australia but I’m sure it’ll be very special.”
Birmingham’s Lord Mayor Anne Underwood, who is at the closing ceremony, told the crowds: “We are a very young and diverse city – we will showcase our city’s youth and diversity.”
Cheers erupted from the official reception at city centre restaurant Nosh and Quaff, which overlooks Victoria Square, as the chief organiser of the 2018 games spoke of its legacy and the future of the Games in Birmingham.
More than 2,000 dancers from Birmingham have been performing in the city to welcome the event to the Midlands.
Accompanying the dancers was a film made by Daniel Alexander from Oldbury and a performance from Erdington-based singer Lady Sanity.
The singer, who performed to an audience of 40,000 at the Gold Coast’s Carrara Stadium as well as TV audiences around the Commonwealth, said it was “a wonderful opportunity to showcase myself and showcase my city”.
- 2022 host city in 60 seconds
- What could Birmingham offer 2022 visitors?
Culture Central, which has organised the “mass participation dance”, recruited 2,022 young people to perform live in the city centre for the handover.
Chief executive Gary Topp said the performance would “tell the story of a city that is young, that is diverse, it’s full of talent, it’s got energy and that’s really looking forward to its future”.