The Rogers Hometown Hockey tour stop in Chatham-Kent is headed to Wellington Street in downtown Chatham this weekend.
The two-day festival features free family-friendly activities, entertainment, giveaways, and NHL alumnus Tomas Kaberle. It will culminate in an outdoor viewing party of the live Sportsnet broadcast of the Tampa Bay Lightning at Winnipeg Jets game, hosted from Chatham by Ron MacLean and Tara Slone on Sunday.
“We’re honoured to have an event like this take place in Downtown Chatham,” said Paul Shettell, Chair of the Historic Downtown Chatham BIA, in a media release. “We’re expecting thousands of attendees over the weekend to take in the event, visit our restaurants and shops, and have downtown Chatham broadcast to a national audience.”
The festival will take place on the stretch of Wellington Street between Third and Fourth Streets. Festival hours are from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday.
The Parade of Champions and NHL pre-game show will begin at 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Citizens are encouraged to get into the spirit of the event by celebrating Hometown Hockey Day in C-K on Friday by wearing a jersey to school or work, decorating their storefronts or homes in red or with a hockey theme, or by participating in a physical activity.
Chatham-Kent was announced in August as one of 25 host communities for the season-long touring hockey festival. Rogers Hometown Hockey is broadcast nationally on Sportsnet.
Visit www.chatham-kent.ca/hometownhockey for information on transit, road closures, and the daily schedule of activities when released.
Rogers Hometown Hockey Festival Details:
The free hockey-themed weekend features games, prize giveaways, fun activities, and live local entertainment for the whole family, including:
Rogers Fan Hub: Help support local minor hockey and participate in fun and interactive experiences, autograph signings with Kaberle, video game stations, bubble hockey, and popcorn!
Sportsnet Virtual Photo Booth and Interactive Games: Fans have the chance to get close to their favourite players through virtual technology. Fans can take photos with virtual images of NHL stars, and have the photo e-mailed directly to their devices for social sharing and their chance to win great prizes. In addition, hockey players of all ages will be able to show off their hockey skills and see how they match up to the NHL stars.
The Hockey Circus Show: Come see Paz, our world-renowned hockey acrobat. Paz juggles everything from pucks to flaming hockey sticks all while standing on top of a net.
Scotiabank Community Hockey Rink: A family-friendly outdoor hockey space to engage hockey fans, interact with NHL alumni, celebrate the game and play ball hockey. Scotiabank will also be donating $15,000 to minor hockey associations in the community.
Ram Haul of Fame: Features the Ram 1500 in a hockey-themed obstacle course that will test the skills of fans of all ages. Also, fans have the opportunity to enter the Breakaway Giveaway contest to win an all-new 2019 Ram 1500 for their family and $5,000 for their local minor hockey association. All contest entrants will receive a free branded giveaway courtesy of Dodge.
Dr. Oetker Giuseppe Pizzeria: Fans can enjoy a complimentary slice of Giuseppe Pizzeria pizza fresh out of the oven, and learn more about the Find Giuseppe contest with many great prizes to be won!
Playmobil Kids Zone: Fans have the chance to face off against friends and family with the PLAYMOBIL NHL Arena and its lineup of NHL figures. In the zone, fans will also be able to enter to win a new NHL playset.
Live local entertainment: Live music featured throughout the weekend beginning with Rodney James performing on Saturday followed by Johnson’s Creek on Sunday.
Ted Rogers community grants: Ted Rogers Community Grants are being awarded to local Canadian organizations to help support educational programs that enable Canadian youth to succeed inside and outside the classroom. In Chatham-Kent, the Chatham-Kent 4-H has been awarded a 2018 Ted Rogers Community Grant of $15,000 to support initiatives such as a public presentation night, programming for youth leadership clubs and member attendance at events like Career Mania and Future Leaders in Action.
Giving Together to support hockey in your community: Every week, Rogers is also Giving Together to support hockey in local communities. Attendees can participate in giving back through 50/50 draws or by purchasing popcorn and food from the on-site barbecue. All proceeds are donated to minor hockey organizations.
Special guests on the weekend also include Chatham native and baseball legend Fergie Jenkins.
The weekend will also feature the renaming of Dresden’s Lambton-Kent Memorial Agricultural Centre. It officially becomes the Ken Houston Memorial Agricultural Centre.
As a young player, Houston played minor hockey in the area and then went on to play in the NHL, but never forgot his roots.
After his playing career, Houston continued to be involved in minor hockey in the area until he passed away earlier this year.