Preparations are underway, weather permitting, to create an outdoor rink for the upcoming Rogers Hometown Hockey event taking place in Williams Lake in January. Tara Sprickerhoff photo

Puck stops here for Rogers Hometown Tour

Williams Lake is pulling together to celebrate the Rogers Hometown hockey festival

The community is rallying in full force to host the Rogers Hometown Hockey tour when it stops in Williams Lake in January 2018.

“What stands out for me is how involved every non-profit group and organization is and how it has connected Williams Lake together to bring this event to town,” City Coun. Laurie Walters said Thursday. “It’s pretty amazing.”

Under the leadership of Deb Radolla, the city’s former manager of active living who was hired to co-ordinate the project, everyone has been working very hard, Walters said.

“When we first got together and were asking questions, everyone had answers and knew who could help with what.”

The years of history and experience of people on the committee is a real asset, Walters added.

“It’s so impressive. It is great.”

The Rogers tour will start arriving in the lakecity on Jan. 1 to prepare for the main event which is slated to begin on Thursday, Jan. 4 and run through until Sunday, Jan. 7.

On Sunday afternoon of the festival, there will be an outdoor viewing party of the live broadcast of the NHL Vancouver versus Montreal game, beginning at 4 p.m. local time on Sportsnet and Sportsnet NOW with hosts Ron MacLean and Tara Slone.

Saturday, Jan. 6 the Stampeders will play an exhibition game against the Kelowna Rockets at 8:30 p.m., where Hometown Hank and Slone will do the official puck drop to start the game.

There will be a second exhibition game on Sunday, Jan. 7 at 1:30 p.m.

During the festival, the Stampeders will also showcase Stampeders hockey history in a booth on Oliver Street and the Williams Lake Hockey History Mural created by local artist Dwayne Davies will be on display.

Joining in the fun, the Williams Lake Stampede Association will bring its historic open wagon to the festival site and will be on hand to talk about the Stampede’s history.

A family event is scheduled for the morning of Friday, Jan. 5 in the Gibraltar Room, the Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a colouring contest and Paradise Cinemas is planning an afternoon matinee, with details to be announced at a later date.

Walters said the Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association is very involved and will host ball hockey games, a barbecue, all-stars program, and a parade that will include WLMHA teams as well as the Williams Lake Figure Skating Club and other complex sports.

Keeping with the them of “Painting the Town Red,” the Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Business Improvement Association are encouraging everyone to participate.

The chamber is running a seven-week hockey trivia contest and said to watch for drop boxes placed at theA Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex, City Hall and the Tourism Discovery Centre.

The Williams Lake Indian Band is working on the opening ceremony for the event on Saturday, Jan. 6 at noon, while the Tsilhqot’in National Government, Denisiqi, the Boys and Girls Club and Changing Directions will have booths set up on the main street. As a member of the committee Walters has represented city council and been responsible for keeping everyone informed as the planning unfolds.

Praising the folks at Rogers Hometown Hockey, Walters said “they are a well-oiled machine.”

“They’ve got it down pat,” she explained. “There are restrictions and they want to know exactly what we are going to do and in turn are letting us know what they are doing when they bring the tour to town.”

She likened the event to planning for a BC Winter Games .

City workers are also very involved, she explained.

“It’s a big undertaking to plan this out. Things from shutting down a few streets to the site preparation takes organizing. There is so much involved.”

Rogers Hometown Hockey began the tour Sunday, Oct. 8 in Niagra Falls.

Williams Lake learned at the beginning of September it had been selected as one of the places to host the tour.

Transit buses will be running the whole weekend to ensure everyone can attend.

Anyone wanting to volunteer is encouraged to contact Radolla at City Hall for more information at 250-392-2311.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

DOWN TO EARTH: Adjusting to our new normal

Water wise instructor says school shutdown prompts finding ways to reach out to community

WLIB breaks ground on $8 million-plus administration building construction project

Safety precautions will be in place to protect workes on site against COVID-19

COVID-19: Williams Lake 83rd annual Bull Show and Sale goes online only

The event is one ranchers look forward to every year

Sand and unfilled bags available for rural residents to prepare for spring melt

Cariboo Regional District has placed materials at Wildwood and Miocene Volunteer Fire Departments

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

Easter Bunny not a COVID-19 carrier, allowed to do drop offs

World Health Organization grants permission to Bunny as he cannot transfer the virus

Most Read