Natal Day chair says Sidney Crosby welcome in Halifax parade, negotiations ongoing
There’s still no word yet on if Halifax will see Cole Harbour native Sidney Crosby bring the Stanley Cup to the region’s Natal Day parade, but we may not have much longer to wait to find out.
Natal Day Festival chair Greg Hayward said Friday he was contacted by Paul Mason — the childhood coach of Crosby — earlier this week about the possibility of the three-time Stanley Cup champion being in the parade.
He said he was told there were logistics to still be worked out on Crosby’s side.
“The bottom line is, yes they can be in the parade, yes we have a place for them, are they going to be? That’s entirely up to them,” Hayward said.
It’s not yet known, Hayward said, when he will hear back about whether Crosby will take part in the 122nd parade, but he thinks he’ll hear within a week.
On Wednesday during a news conference, Crosby hinted at possibly taking part in the celebrations saying it was an idea being thrown around. He told reporters he would be receiving the cup Aug. 6 and 7, with the latter day being both Natal Day — a civic holiday celebrating Halifax’s founding — and his 30th birthday.
If he does decide to be part of the parade, Hayward said he knows “exactly” where the Pittsburgh Penguins captain would be.
“He would be in as the grand parade marshal,” he said. “And it will always follow the RCMP entry.”
The parade typically brings 35,000 to 40,000 people to the streets on either side of the harbour, but if Crosby attends, he won’t be surprised if that number jumps by as many as 25,000 people.
WATCH: Cole Harbour-native Sidney Crosby has returned home to the region to teach his third annual hockey school.
Hayward also told Global News that he’s had people from Thunder Bay, Ont., and in New Brunswick, who would be in town for vacations, asking about the parade route and the possibility of Crosby’s appearance.
Asked if anything would need to change in the parade’s organization, Hayward answered it would be up to the hockey star.
Putting on the 2017 Natal Day parade is still the plan whether Crosby is in or out, he said, and requests like extra security would be up to the hockey player’s team — each year the parade has had Halifax police situated along the entire route.
“But Sidney brings another level to it with the Stanley Cup and of course the greatest hockey player ever,” Hayward said. “But they haven’t asked us for anything. They asked us what we had and we complied with that and they said, ‘We’ll be in touch.'”
Lucas Wide, spokesperson for the Halifax Regional Municipality, said Crosby’s representatives and the municipality have also been in communication but said no further comment could be given until a decision is made.
Parade route the ‘same as 2015’
Unlike in 2016 where the parade remained on the Dartmouth side due to ongoing construction on the MacDonald Bridge, Hayward says this year the parade will make the full trek.
The parade starts in Halifax at the corner of Novalea Drive and Kenny Street, proceeds down Gottingen Street to North Street, then makes its way across the bridge before making its way down Wyse Road to Alderney Drive. It then goes up Ochterloney Street out to Sullivan’s Pond.
The parade starts at 10 a.m.
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.