London Olympics 2012
London 2012 Olympics Reuters

The 2012 London Olympics draws ever closer and to fuel the already considerable excitement around the event, 40,000 people will have the opportunity to join celebrities and sports stars at the Olympic Stadium for the venue's official opening.

A special event - 2012 Hours to Go: An Evening of Athletics and Entertainment - has been scheduled for Saturday, 5 May, and it will feature 30 British celebrities - impressionist Jon Culshaw, actor Hugh Bonneville, singer Melanie C, rapper Chipmunk, comedian jack Whitehall and former Olympians Sir Steve Redgrave and Mark Foster.

"Seeing athletes on the track for the first time will be a special moment for me personally," Seb Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) was quoted as saying by the BBC, "Then welcoming people into the stadium will be a major milestone. This crowd will not only be starting their Olympic journey just weeks ahead of the Games, they will also play a vital role in helping us test the venue and earn our licence to operate the stadium."

The event is to start at 7pm BSTand will have 90 minutes of performances from the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) Visa Outdoor Athletics Championships and a series of UK Athletics invitational events featuring some of Britain's best athletes. The celebration will be lead by television presenters Vernon Kay and Gabby Logan. The Military Wives will lead a mass sing-a-long of the national anthem.

Celebrities and athletes will get involved in a series of stunts, games and challenges in order to win prizes for members of the audience.

Ticket holders between eight and 14 years were asked to register for the opportunity to open the Games stadium during a series of sporting events held at the venue. The first 100 were chosen to participate in the final round.

Paralympic gold medallist and archer Danielle Brown will shoot arrows at a series of spinning targets to select a young person from the audience to open the Olympic Stadium.