Calgary primed to party ; Grey Cup festivities planned
The Calgary Sun
Sat 30 May 2009
BY KATIE SCHNEIDER, SUN MEDIA
Calgary, get ready to party.
When the Grey Cup wave hits this city, it's going to be a flood of festivities, including a revival of the official kick-off parade not seen in the CFL four years.
The 2009 Grey Cup Festival, Nov. 26-29, will feature a block party on Stephen Avenue, family friendly event at Olympic Plaza, Molson Canadian Beer Garden at the Calgary Telus Convention Centre as well as a gala and concert at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
But a highlight will be the return of the parade, which hasn't taken place in the CFL since 2005 in Vancouver, said festival president Grey Albrecht.
"We will be reviving that tradition in 2009 -- it's a great community outreach event and everybody loves a parade," he said.
Stampeders president Scott Ackles said the parade is an important part of the Grey Cup experience.
"It's a big piece of what makes the Grey Cup festival so special in terms of engaging the community here, as well as engaging the fans coming here from abroad," he said.
Ackles said the Stampeders are searching for this year's parade marshal.
In 2005, Hollywood hottie Pamela Anderson, discovered in B.C. Place, led the parade for the Grey Cup in Vancouver.
"It would have to make sense like that scenario did -- we're out there looking and we have some ideas," Ackles said.
"A lot of the things we're gearing for and trying to accomplish with this festival will be over the top.
"A star of that nature would be over the top -- and at this time we're trying to figure out who that might be."
The committee aims to host the biggest and best Grey Cup party the country has ever seen, said Albrecht.
"We're looking forward to hosting Canadians, if they are football fans or not," he said.
A limited number of Grey Cup tickets go on sale today at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster, by visiting www.ticketmaster.ca, at McMahon Stadium, or calling 403-777-0633.
Mayor Dave Bronconnier said the 2009 Grey Cup celebrations will be an exciting time to be in this country and this city.
"Calgary really has been known nationally as a place to have a party," he said.
"We intend to have a great street party on Stephen Avenue mall where everyone can come down and participate and get behind Canada's game and have it as Calgary's biggest street party."