After 7 months of organizing, Hockeyville weekend arrives in O'Leary

It's been an odyssey of planning, preparing and hoping that will culminate this weekend in O'Leary, P.E.I.

Hockeyville game in Summerside Monday night

The ice is ready for Hockeyville weekend. (Kimberley McBain Clements‎/O'Leary Hockeyville Helpers/Facebook)

An odyssey of planning, preparation and hope will culminate this weekend in O'Leary, P.E.I.

Hockeyville events start in the small, West Prince community Saturday, and finish with a pre-season NHL game between the New Jersey Devils and the Ottawa Senators in Summerside Monday night.

Jo-Anne Wallace has been part of the organizing committee since the bid was launched in February, and she said it has meant much more to the town than just a hockey game.

"It's been a phenomenal venture. Everywhere you see the spirit and excitement," Wallace said.

"It's been a huge thing for our community."

The celebrations will start Saturday morning at the O'Leary Community Sports Centre with minor hockey skills competitions followed by a community skate in the afternoon. Retired NHL player Colin White, who won two Stanley Cups with the New Jersey Devils, will be on hand throughout the day.

The UPEI women's hockey team will hold clinics on Sunday, and the Charlottetown Islanders will also visit to show off their skills. An outdoor festival in the afternoon will feature local food, music and a KidZone.

Main event

NHL players will make their first official public appearance Monday morning, with a red carpet event at Credit Union Place in Summerside starting at 8:30 a.m.

Later in the morning the teams will hold a game day skate, followed by a community question and answer session.

The game itself starts at 7 p.m.

With files from Island Morning