The annual CFL championship is quickly approaching its 100th anniversary game and celebrations are picking up nationwide.
Harvest is in full swing across the prairies as the Grey Cup makes its way across Canada by train to the big game.
Included in the six western/central stop locations were: Camrose and Lethbridge, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon and the City of Yorkton, and finally, Minnedosa, MB.
“The purpose of the whole tour is to promote the Grey Cup game,” says Darren Spelay, recreation services manager, City of Yorkton, and member of a seven-man organizing committee.
“We were approached by the CFL,” he said.
The league was represented by Carley Smith, communications officer, who was also in Yorkton for the first time.
“It’s amazing. We expected a huge crowd,” she told the paper 100 feet in the air on top of a mechanical step ladder provided courtesy of the Yorkton Fire Prevention Services.
It was especially good to have a large crowd out considering Yorkton’s stop took place around mid-day in the middle of the week.
Around 11:30 that Tuesday morning (Oct. 2), the fully decorated train, featuring the logos of all eight Canadian Football League clubs, rolled into town and made its two-hour stop next to the Liquor Store where hundreds upon hundreds of football fans took in the sights and sounds.
“We were just responsible for accommodating the train stuff,” says Spelay, who guesstimates that “close to 1000” locals took in the event.
Also involved with Spelay’s group was: Roy Lanaway, City of Yorkton, James Wilson, Mayor of Yorkton, Barry Sharpe, Roby Sharpe, Gene Krepakevich, David Baron, Greg Litvanyi, Jason Farrell and Joe Milburn, says Spelay.
The Yorkton Minor Football Association put on a BBQ, the event was also supported by the City of Yorkton Fire Prevention Services, as well as the marching band representing the Yorkton Regional High School.
“The trip has been a blast, meeting all the fans, it’s energizing!” adds Smith.
“It was a pretty big event,” says Spelay. “I’d say it was a tremendous success.
The day was also highlighted by Lydia Zimmer, a 104-year-old Saskatchewan Roughrider fan.