Hamilton is set to come alive this week as it hosts the Canadian Football League’s (CFL) Grey Cup Celebrations. Although the Hamilton Tiger-Cats won’t be battling it out in the 110th Grey Cup, there is still plenty to look forward to. The city will be buzzing with various events, including a huge street festival, a parade, and a music concert featuring international stars like Shaggy and Carrie Underwood. With both public and Catholic schools scheduling a PA Day on Friday, the city is gearing up for a four-day extravaganza that promises to be fun for all.
The week will culminate with the Grey Cup itself. This year, the Montreal Alouettes will go head-to-head against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in a thrilling game that will surely keep everyone on the edge of their seats. Read on for an overview of what to expect.
Arrival of the Grey Cup: A Ceremonial Naval Affair
The Grey Cup, just as in 2021 in Hamilton, is expected to make a grand entrance on Monday. The revered trophy will be transported into the city on His Majesty’s Canadian Ship, Harry DeWolf, arriving at the HMCS Star Naval Reserve Division at 12:15 p.m.
The HMCS Harry DeWolf has the significant role of serving as part of Canada’s “first line of defense in the Arctic,” as stated on the federal government’s webpage. At 1:15 p.m., the reserve division’s drill deck will be the site of the formal Grey Cup arrival ceremony, while the ship’s arrival is a media-only event.
Free Breakfast and Fan Central Highlights
Highlighting the festivities, the CFL’s Fan Central is a free event scheduled to enthrall attendees for most of the week. The renowned James Street N. will serve as the event’s locale, starting Thursday at 11 a.m., transforming into an exuberant hub featuring a beer garden, inflatables, giveaways, food trucks, a Christmas market, games, and more, ensuring a carnival-like atmosphere in the heart of the city.
In a special treat for early risers, the Calgary Grey Cup Committee has announced a complimentary breakfast on James Street on Friday and Saturday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. As described on the Grey Cup Festival’s website, this event will give attendees a taste of the world-famous Stampede in Calgary without having to travel there in the first place.
Students Sprint in Kilometre-Long Community Race
In an exciting initiative aimed at fostering community spirit and promoting fitness among young people, approximately 2,000 students will have the opportunity to emulate their CFL heroes by participating in a community race.
Scheduled to kick off at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, this kilometer-long race will commence from the leafy surroundings of Gage Park, culminating at the iconic Tim Hortons Field. This exhilarating sprint provides a unique opportunity for students to get involved in the Grey Cup celebrations while showcasing the exhilaration and competitive spirit that encapsulates Canadian football.
SiriusXM Sets the Stage With The Dirty Nil for the Grey Cup Festival Kickoff Party
SiriusXM is set to turn up the volume on the Grey Cup festivities with a kickoff party that will get your pulse racing. The Hamilton band, The Dirty Nil, which previously bagged a Juno Award, will ignite the stage, marking the beginning of an electrifying music festival. Their rock-infused tunes will be complemented by the fresh punk sounds of NOBRO, a dynamic band hailing from Montreal.
The lineup also includes performances from Steve Strongman, Matty Simpson Band, The Hot KarlsHachey, and TheMouthPEACE. This musical extravaganza will take place on James Street N. from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday and is free for all to enjoy, promising an evening of captivating performances and non-stop entertainment.
Music Festival at the Grey Cup
The Grey Cup Music Festival promises to be a dynamic and unforgettable part of the festivities. Headliners like Shaggy and Carrie Underwood will perform ticketed concerts, but there’s plenty of free music to enjoy as well. Friday and Saturday’s performances begin at 11 a.m. and continue until 8 p.m., offering a musical marathon that features a wide range of bands such as The 99s, Regina Pep Band, The Redhill Valleys, Nicolette and the Nobodies, Deseronto, The Handsome Devils, High Steppin’ Daddy, Matt Paxton & the Pintos, Generator Party, Ben Somer and, and The Cold Winter.
The festivities extend into the game day on Sunday, with a neighborhood block party showcasing Monster Truck, Boy Golden, and Born In The Eighties. With such a diverse lineup, this music festival guarantees something for everyone, setting the stage for an exhilarating conclusion to the Grey Cup week.
Opportunity to Secure Autographs and Pose with the Legendary Grey Cup
In a special interaction, the Canadian Football League Players’ Association headquarters is opening its doors to fans over the weekend. Located within The Gown & Gavel at 24 Hess St. S., this unique opportunity will allow fans to meet the association members in person, secure autographs, and pose for photos with the legendary Grey Cup.
This event is scheduled to run on Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Don’t miss the chance to create memorable experiences and cherishable mementos from this celebratory occasion.
The Grand Santa Claus Parade With a Grey Cup Twist
The festive spirit will be in full swing as Hamilton hosts the annual Santa Claus Parade, adding a dash of Grey Cup glamour. The parade, an eagerly anticipated event in the city’s holiday calendar, promises more excitement this year with the participation of CFL cheer teams and the iconic Grey Cup trophy. Starting from Bay Street N. and Barton Street W., the parade will wind its way through the city streets, finally ending at the intersection of Hess Street N and Cannon Street W. Spectators can expect festival-themed giveaways throughout the parade, adding to the joyous atmosphere.
Hamilton’s Flag Football Classic Tournament
Adding to the exuberant line-up of events is the Hamilton Flag Football Classic. Held at the John Weir Foote Armoury on James Street N., this three-day tournament offers spectators an exciting display of skill and sportsmanship. From Thursday to Saturday, between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., teams from across southern Ontario will take to the field within the armory, vying for the trophy in a competitive yet friendly spirit.
The crowning glory of the CFL festivities is undoubtedly the CFL Awards Ceremony, set to be held at the majestic Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls on Thursday. The festivities will commence with a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by the ceremony an hour later. The evening promises to be a star-studded affair, with the league’s best talents being recognized and celebrated for their exceptional performances throughout the season.
For fans wishing to attend, complimentary regional transportation will be provided to and from downtown Hamilton to the Fallsview district area. Join us as we honor the stars of the CFL in this grand celebration of Canadian football.
The Grey Cup
Of course, the week wouldn’t be final without the Grey Cup final itself, set to take place Sunday, Nov. 19, at 6 p.m. At 13-7, the Monteal Alouettes are coming off a huge and convincing upset win against the CFL’s top team, the Toronto Argonauts. They will once again be the underdog when they face the 15-4 Winnepeg Blue Bombers, who knocked off the Grey Cup’s host city, Hamilton, in the Divisional Semifinals. Winnipeg went on to beat the BC Lions in the Division Finals, setting up the CFL championship game against Toronto.
The Grey Cup Festival promises an action-packed week filled with a mix of sports, music, and community activities. Each event, carefully curated, ensures there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a die-hard football fan, a music enthusiast, or just someone who loves to be part of community festivities, this festival will leave you with memories to cherish.
Montreal may have pulled off the season’s biggest upset, but there’s still plenty of excitement to come at the 110th Grey Cup. And if you’re looking to add an extra layer of excitement to the games, don’t forget to check out FanDuel Sportsbook, where you can bet on football teams and players. Who knows, you may even win big while cheering on your team during this thrilling week of Grey Cup celebrations!
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