Today marked the end of the Kingston stop on the Hometown Hockey tour and what a great day it was!
Today was a special day for hockey fans as Ron MacLean, Don Cherry and Doug Gilmour joined the Hometown Hockey festivities, which brought fans out in droves. All of the activities I outlined in yesterday’s post were still active and busy and there were a few new activities added to the agenda.
One of the best parts about an event that is outdoors is that you get companies who offer up hot beverages and yummy food to keep the soul warm. Although I’m not a fan of their food, McDonald’s was on site with a mobile coffee truck and they were giving away coffee to fans who needed a bit of a warmth injection.
One of the first events that I attended during today’s festival was the Hotstove featuring Doug Gilmour, Wendel Clark and Jennifer Botterill and it was moderated by Evanka Osmak and Ken Reid of Sportsnet. This was a really nice feature and lasted for about thirty minutes. Ken and Evanka asked the hockey stars questions and the players were candid about their hockey experiences.
My favourite memories that Doug Gilmour and Wendel Clark shared with the crowd were all of the practical jokes that they played on each other and the coaching staff during their years playing hockey. You could see the joy in both of their faces as they recounted their mischief. So good!
Another fab moment was when Ron MacLean surprised everyone by coming out on stage during the Hotstove. The audience cheered and the players greeted him with big hugs and lots of smiles. So awesome.
After the Hotstove, I hightailed it to the Rogers K-Rock Centre, where Doug Gilmour was hosting a VIP skate and autograph experience to select fans. Although I didn’t bring skates (better for everyone on the ice… including me!), I was hooked up with some fancy ice shoes (they had wicked spikes for great grippage) and was able to slide on over to Doug for a photo and an autograph.
With about ten minutes to spare, I then headed over to Dianne’s on Ontario Street in Kingston for a VIP meet and greet with Ron MacLean. This was such a nice event that featured yummy food and wine, an opportunity to meet Ron and grab a photo with him and the chance to warm up! Dianne’s is SUCH a quaint little place and I will definitely be making a repeat visit here in the future.
Around 6pm, the pre-game festivities kicked off in Market Square and fans filled the area in front of the mobile Sportsnet Studio and cheered as Don Cherry and Ron MacLean started their live broadcast from Kingston. As cameras floated through the audience, you could feel the energy kicking into high gear as the fans ramped up to cheer on the Leafs and the Blackhawks.
The festivities were still in full swing as the night waned and as I made my way out, I couldn’t help but feel a bit sad that it was all over! I’m definitely adding the Kanata dates to my calendar and can’t wait to check out the Hometown Hockey tour in my own city.
Did you make it out? If so, what did you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!