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Things to do at the 2021 Grey Cup Festival in Hamilton

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers will go head to head in the 108th Grey Cup on Sunday, and the Canadian Football League‘s pinnacle event is sold out.

But even if you don’t have tickets to the big game, there are activities to enjoy in the days leading up to kickoff.

The 2021 version of the Grey Cup Festival will be modified from previous years due the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, so some regular events like the major concert series and other large-scale fan get-togethers are limited due to ongoing capacity restrictions for non-seated, general admission indoor events.

As expected, traditional events like the cup’s arrival, CFL Awards, head coaches conference, and the commissioner’s state of the league session will all be a go.

Ryan McHugh, manager of tourism and events with the city of Hamilton, told 900 CHML’s Hamilton Today most of the events throughout the week hit all price points with most held at the convention centre.

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“On the Grey Cup Sunday, we have the Sirius XM tailgate, so you’ll have the Trews and a whole bunch of Canadian bands playing up to the game, ” McHugh said.

Then, of course, at the halftime show with Hamilton’s own Arkells … as well as the Lumineers.”

Here’s a look at some of the things you can do during the festival:

Grey Cup Arrival

Tuesday 11 a.m. — Bayfront Park

The Grey Cup will arrive in style thanks to a pair of Royal Canadian Air Force CH-146 Griffons from the 430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron that will deliver the cup and CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie to Bayfront Park. A brief ceremony will officially welcome the iconic trophy to the home of the 108th Grey Cup.

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Grey Cup 50/50

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced Monday tickets for the 108th Grey Cup 50/50 draw are on sale now and can be purchased at GreyCup5050.com

Tickets will also be available for purchase at Hamilton Convention Centre events on Friday through Sunday and at Tim Hortons Field on game day.

The prizing will consist of two early-bird draws throughout the week and a grand prize draw on Sunday:

  • Early Bird 1: Wednesday, Dec. 8 – Two (2) silver level Grey Cup tickets
  • Early Bird 2: Friday, Dec. 10 – Prize pack consisting of $500 cash, two (2) Tiger-Cats jerseys, two (2) Grey Cup hoodies and hats, and two (2) Ticats blankets
  • Grand Prize: Sunday, Dec. 12 – Guaranteed jackpot of at least $75,000

Proceeds from the 50/50 draw will be distributed to numerous community programs to benefit youth in the Hamilton area, including the Hamilton Bulldogs’ Foundation’s Breakfast Program, Bernie Custis Secondary School’s sports programs, and local minor football associations in Hamilton, Niagara, Burlington, Guelph and Brantford.

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Sales end at the end of third quarter of Sunday’s game.

Spirit of Edmonton

Thursday thru Saturday afternoons/evenings — Industria Pizzeria & Bar at 69 John St. South

The Spirit of Edmonton will host CFL fans in their Hospitality Room which will open on Thursday and run for three days with live entertainment. The demand to get in will be very high, so get there early.

Fans will be required to show valid proof of vaccination and follow health and safety protocols in order to attend all Grey Cup Week events and the championship game.

Thursday: 3 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Friday: 3 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Saturday: 2 p.m. to 12 a.m.

$10 at door

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Commissioners fan State of the League and Grey Cup fan base unveiling

Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Hamilton Convention Centre

Beginning at 10 a.m., Commissioner Ambrosie will provide an update on the direction of the league and take questions from members of the audience.

The league is also set to unveil a new Grey Cup Fan Base — a piece that the Grey Cup will stand on in recognition of the fans who form the foundation of the CFL.

Fans will then get a photo opportunity with the Grey Cup and Fan Base.

Seating is limited and fans will be required to show valid proof of vaccination and follow health and safety protocols.

Fans are invited to RSVP for this event.

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CFLAA Legends Luncheon

Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. — The Endzone Bar & Grill at 1305 Main St. East

A chance to rub shoulders with CFL Alumni and listen as they share incredible stories from the gridiron. The event will also name the CFLAA Alumnus of the Year.

$175 + HST (includes appetizers, meal, and open bar)

Tickets can be purchased here.

CFL Awards

Friday 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. — Convention Centre

The Hamilton Convention Centre will play host to an evening of excellence as the league honours the best and brightest stars of the 2021 season.

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A limited number of lucky CFL Fans will be randomly selected to attend this event for free.

Seating is limited and submitting your reservation request does not guarantee a seat at the awards.

Submit an RSVP by Friday here.

CFL Awards After Party

Friday 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. — Convention Centre

Fans will be required to show valid proof of vaccination and follow health and safety protocols in order to attend.

Admission: $20 at the door

Eastern Social Hall presented by Access Storage

Friday and Saturday — Hamilton Convention Centre 

A two-day celebration of the four East Division Teams that includes live music, cheer team performances, merchandise giveaways and more.

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Fans will be required to show valid proof of vaccination and follow health and safety protocols.

Friday: 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Admission: $20 at the door

Spirit of Edmonton Breakfast

Saturday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. — MichaelAngelo Banquet Centre 1555 Upper Ottawa St.

Doors open at 8 a.m. and the venue features an entertainment schedule with a variety of local entertainment. A full breakfast buffet is available.

Fans will be required to show valid proof of vaccination and follow health and safety protocols.

Tickets can be purchased for $125 here.

Western Social Hall presented by Carstar

Saturday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. — Hamilton Convention Centre

The official Grey Cup party for the CFL’s five West Division Teams with music and plenty of free giveaways.

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Fans will be required to show valid proof of vaccination and follow health and safety protocols.

Admission: $20 at the door

TigerTown GameDay Party presented by Bench Brewing

Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Hamilton Convention Centre

Featuring Tiger-Cats alumni, the Ticats Dance & Cheer Team, live music, food & drink and much more.

A portion of proceeds from tickets purchased will benefit the Alumni Association.

Fans will be required to show valid proof of vaccination and follow health and safety protocols.

Tickets $75 can be purchased here.

Twisted Tea Grey Cup Social

Sunday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. -— South end zone plaza of Tim Hortons Field

The Trews will take to the stage at this event free for all ticketholders.

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With the game sold out, it’s expected the CFL will expand the endzone at Tim Hortons Field to accommodate an additional 500 standing room tickets in this section.

Kickoff

Sunday
Gate: 4 p.m.
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

The Twisted Tea Grey Cup Halftime Show will feature Arkells and special guests The Lumineers.

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