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Hamilton Sports Group Unveils Big, Bold Grey Cup Festival

MORE THAN 40 EVENTS WILL SHOW OFF THE CITY AND SHOWCASE THE REGION NOVEMBER 13 TO 19

HUGE CELEBRATIONS OF CANADIAN FOOTBALL, TONS OF FAMILY FUN, FABULOUS MUSIC AND GIANT PARTIES

GREY CUP FESTIVAL GOES REGIONAL WITH EVENTS PLANNED FOR NIAGARA FALLS

The Hamilton Sports Group unveiled Tuesday, a big, bold Grey Cup Festival that will show off the city and showcase the region this November 13 to 19.

Get ready for more than 40 events that celebrate Canadian football, provide tons of family fun, feature fabulous music and include giant parties.

“Hamilton is the heart and soul of the 2023 Grey Cup Festival, which is our opportunity to show the country what makes our city so special,” said Scott Mitchell, CEO and Managing Partner, Hamilton Sports Group.

Thanks to support from the City of Hamilton and the tremendous goodwill of the great people of Hamilton, the Festival is partnering with many of Hamilton’s signature brands to provide unique experiences that deliver the best of Hamilton’s own Supercrawl, the Around the Bay Road Race and the Hamilton Santa Claus Parade, which is switching dates to be a proud part of the Grey Cup Festival. And it will welcome fans and visitors to some of Hamilton’s most iconic landmarks, including the John Weir Foote Armoury, home to the Canadian Armed Forces Fan Zone, and the historic Stipley neighbourhood, home to the Game Day Neighbourhood Block Party on November 19 and Tim Hortons Field of course, the site of the 110th Grey Cup game that will cap it all off.

“We’ll go one step further, too. Support from the Province of Ontario has paved the way for us to incorporate the accommodations and world class entertainment facilities in Niagara – and to connect everything and everyone with free, safe and reliable shuttle services that will run from Niagara Falls to downtown Hamilton during the Festival,” Mitchell added.

“And today’s announcement is just the beginning. In the weeks ahead, we’ll be sharing more and more details, including amazing opportunities to see great entertainers from the world of music and comedy. So, stay connected at greycupfestival.ca.”

Here is just some of what you can expect at the 2023 Grey Cup Festival:

Fan Central: From Thursday through Saturday, Fan Central will be the festival hub. The closure of James St. to vehicles (between Barton St. and York Blvd.) will make it simple for fans to access the John Weir Foote Armoury on James St. and the TELUS Kick for Good Courtyard.

James StreetFans can expect plenty of entertainment as they stroll down James St. with fun available for all ages, free of charge and produced by Supercrawl, Hamilton’s famous arts and indie music festival. Expect live music, a collection of food trucks, the Hamilton Christmas Market, photo opportunities, art installations and other live activations.

Canadian Armed Forces Fan Zone at the John Weir Foote Armoury: An unprecedented interactive area in one of Hamilton’s signature venues, this will include a specially constructed 35-yard turf football field, complete with stands and a scoreboard, that will host the Hamilton Flag Football Classic, a multi-day tournament hosted by Football Ontario. Patrons can expect football-themed activities, obstacle courses, and an exhibit from the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. Adjacent to the Fan Zone, the TELUS Kick for Good Courtyard will offer fans the chance to showcase their kicking prowess to win exclusive prizes.

Grey Cup Traditions: The Hamilton Convention Centre, FirstOntario Centre and Bridgeworks event space will host a lineup of electrifying team parties for all nine CFL clubs, giving fans a chance to celebrate and connect with their fellow CFL devotees. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ famous TigerTown event will be hosted at FirstOntario Centre along with a concert series, with the musical line-up and other details to be announced in the coming weeks.

Cheer Extravaganza: CFL Dance & Cheer teams will be performing alongside other local acts at the First Ontario Concert Hall on Saturday, November 18.

The CARSTAR CFLAA Legends Luncheon: A fun celebration of the CFL alumni who have made Canadian football great, will take place Friday, November 17 at LiUNA Station.

The Grey Cup Hamilton Santa Claus Parade presented by WeatherTech: The 2023 version of this annual parade has been moved to Saturday, November 18 and will include CFL cheer teams, CFL Alumni, the Grey Cup trophy and other football-themed fun for fans of all ages.

The Community Race to the Cup presented by FirstOntario: Inspired by one of Hamilton’s most famous sporting events, the annual Around the Bay Road Race, and organized by the same operators, the Community Race to the Cup will see more than 2,000 local students race from Gage Park to Tim Hortons Field on Thursday, November 16.

PA DAY!: Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board and Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board have scheduled a PA Day on Friday, November 17 to allow students and their families to participate in the many events at the Grey Cup Festival.

YWCA Hamilton Rise and Shine Young Trailblazer Breakfast: In partnership with the Grey Cup Festival, the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board and the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board, YWCA Hamilton will welcome hundreds of youth for a morning of empowerment and engagement.

SportHamilton Breakfast of Champions presented by Stelco: In partnership with the Grey Cup Festival, SportHamilton is happy to recognize and congratulate Hamilton area athletes, teams and coaches that have accomplished high athletic success in the 2023 season.

SponsorshipX Academy @ Grey Cup Festival: Located at Tim Hortons Field, participants will be able to see the site of the 110th Grey Cup the day before the big game and experience the setup of this massive event. The SponsorshipX Academy is affordable, educational and memorable; Academy content is curated to accelerate professional development as a marketer. 

Game Day Neighbourhood Block Party: With roads closed for blocks surrounding Tim Hortons Field on game day, the Neighbourhood Block Party will deliver food, music, and both indoor and outdoor tailgate fun throughout the Stipley neighbourhood surrounding the stadium.

CFL Awards: The Canadian Football League’s most coveted hardware – apart from the iconic Grey Cup Trophy itself – will be handed out on Thursday, November 16 at Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls. Built on a cliff overlooking the world-famous Horseshoe Falls, Fallsview Casino Resort, managed by Mohegan, is the largest and most elegant gaming resort facility in Canada. The awards show will take place in its intimate Avalon Threatre and feature enhanced entertainment and hospitality. Following the show, event guests will be welcomed at the state-of-the art OLG Stage at Fallsview Casino theatre for a live concert. 5,000 tickets will be available for this concert. Details on the CFL Awards and post-awards concert at OLG Stage at Fallsview Casino, including how you can get tickets and who will be playing at the concert, will be announced soon.

Further, the Province of Ontario and Grey Cup Festival will be providing a complimentary shuttle bus service for fans who are staying in Niagara Falls hotels directly to Hamilton to participate in all the Grey Cup festivities Thursday to Saturday. The service will also be available on gameday, Sunday, November 19. More details, including times and pick-up locations, will be released this fall.

“We are so proud to support the 2023 edition of the iconic Grey Cup Festival,” said Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “Bringing one of Canada’s greatest traditions and largest sporting competitions back to the Hamilton region will deliver substantial economic benefits for Ontario, support jobs and boost local tourism.”

“As Mayor, and as a lifelong fan, I’m so excited to see the Grey Cup return to Hamilton again this November.  I can’t wait to welcome football fans from across the country as we cheer on our teams to victory. Oskee Wee Wee – Go Ticats!” Said Andrea Horwath, Mayor of Hamilton.

Festival organizers are predicting this could be the biggest and best collection of events in the long and storied history of the Grey Cup.

“On behalf of the entire Canadian Football League, I want to congratulate Hamilton Sports Group, and their partners, on a plan for a Festival that will be true to our game, authentically Hamilton, and fun for everyone.” Said Randy Ambrosie, Commissioner of the Canadian Football League.

CLICK HERE for 2023 Grey Cup Festival event details.

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Mark Perry is the founder and editor of CFL News Hub. A dedicated and experienced football analyst, he has been providing comprehensive coverage of the sport since 2018. In March 2021, he further expanded his reporting scope to the Canadian Football League. Mark continues to share insightful analysis and updates on all things CFL, adding to the lively conversation surrounding the sport. Contact him directly at mark.perry@cflnewshub.com.

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