Grey Cup organizers ready to 'Bring the Heat' to Edmonton
'We want to show off what Edmonton can achieve and we want Edmontonians to be proud'
Edmonton's Grey Cup committee revealed its party plans Friday by unveiling what is expected to be an unprecedented week of festivities leading up to the big game.
"Bring the Heat" is the theme of the fifth Grey Cup game to be held in the city since teams started playing for Canadian football's holy grail in 1909.
"We just want to make it the best. We want to celebrate what Grey Cup is. We want to show off what Edmonton can achieve and we want Edmontonians to be proud of what Edmonton's putting forward," said festival director Duane Vienneau.
Zipline, tube slide, street skiing
Edmonton's Grey Cup committee is definitely swinging for the fences.
Jasper Avenue between 96th and 99th streets will be cordoned off for a majority of the activities.
In 2010, there was a zipline in Winston Churchill Square. This year, the stages, tents and activities will be be moved in and around the Shaw Conference Centre.
An 800-foot zipline will be stretch from an eight-storey platform beside the Shaw Conference Centre to Louise McKinney Riverfront Park.
There will also be a tube slide taking people down Jasper Avenue, and something called street skiing, which will start at the top of Grierson Hill and take people down in behind the Shaw centre.
"We're creating this activity-based festival which is very unique and new. No other Grey Cup has ever done it before," said Vienneau.
'We always want to win'
There will also be a mini field where kids and adults can play flag football.
If the weather turns ugly, which is a definite possibility, there will be a 20,000-square-foot tent to keep people warm and dry.
As a host city, the pressure now shifts to the home team to make it to the CFL final.
The Eskimos have won the Grey Cup 14 times, second only to the Toronto Argonauts who have won 17 times.
"We've hosted [the Grey Cup] four times here in Edmonton, but there's one thing left to do — winning the Grey Cup in our own backyard in front of our own fans that's the objective," said Len Rhodes, president of the Edmonton Eskimos.
The 2018 Grey Cup Festival kicks off Wednesday, Nov. 21 and runs through to Saturday, Nov. 24.
Tickets go on sale June 1 at 2 p.m. Fans can visit greycupfestival.ca for more details.