Thunder Bay residents will have a chance to show off to a national audience how popular hockey is in the city.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Mayor Keith Hobbs, along with representatives from the Lakehead University Thunderwolves and the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall Of Fame announced the city will host the Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour in the new year.
The two-day festival will take place at Prince Arthur's Landing on Jan.2 and 3, 2016.
In a news release issued in conjunction with the announcement, Hobbs said it's a chance for people to show their enthusiasm for the popular winter sport.
"This is an amazing opportunity for our community to come together and celebrate all things hockey and show all of Canada what we have to offer," said Hobbs.
The hockey tour's stop in Thunder Bay will feature appearances by former NHL players, including local star Greg Johnson, along with Allan Cup alumni — the national prize in men's amateur senior hockey.
Ron MacLean, the longtime Hockey Night In Canada icon, will host the event.
City officials said the festival will include a variety of activities, including interactive experiences, pick-up ball hockey games, and fireworks, all leading up to a public viewing of the featured Sunday evening NHL game between the Ottawa Senators and Chicago Blackhawks.
A live pre-game show will be hosted by MacLean from the waterfront.
City officials also encouraged minor hockey teams to come down in their team colours to Prince Arthur's Landing on Dec. 20 for the taping of a video featuring kids cheering to be shown on the national broadcast.