The Grey Cup Festival kicks off this week in Saskatoon before heading to Regina for the remaining celebrations.
The festival will take place Nov. 15 to Nov. 20 and feature family-friendly events and plenty for the football fanatics.
The festival is committed to being a provincial celebration with events all around the province leading up to the final game day.
The NexGen Energy Street Festival will host an outdoor tailgate and activities including live music every day, the SaskPower Tube Slide for the kids, and interactive light displays. There will be no shortage of food trucks at the street festival and a place to gather in the beer garden.
Mosaic Village will be the heart of the festival, spanning across R.E.A.L District’s indoor spaces. Fans can stay out of the cold at the SaskPower Family Fair, Team Party Rooms, and an indoor tailgate with a performance by the Hunter Brothers.
There will be a military obstacle course, Esports tournament, and again, no shortage of food provided by indoor vendors.
A majority of the events will be located at the R.E.A.L. District with a few exceptions. The Youth Rally will kick off the Festival in Saskatoon on Tuesday, followed by a pancake breakfast on Wednesday at Prairieland Park.
The Grey Cup organizing committee has been planning this event for the past four years.
Tracy Fahlman, president and CEO of the Regina Hotel Association said that Regina hotels are reporting sell out.
“We will be welcoming thousands and thousands of guests to our city, and we are super, super excited about that. What are hotels doing to prep? We are staffing up and stocking up on beer,” joked Fahlman.
Although hotels are reporting no vacancies, she said there might still be a chance to find a room.
“Cancellations are incredibly common during large city-wide events like Grey Cup and so what we recommend, if anyone is still looking for a hotel room, is call the hotel directly. Not all hotel rooms are posted online or on third-party sites.”
Fahlman said that there are 1,100 more hotel rooms than the last time Regina played Grey Cup host.
Free shuttle transportation was announced for Grey Cup Festival attendees free of charge, courtesy of the Regina Hotel Association.
“This service is a great option for everyone to get to and from the festival sites,” Fahlman said, “especially to get home safely after partaking in the festival on R.E.A.L grounds later this week.
“We are really excited to roll out our warm prairie hospitality to both teams, the CFL, and CFL fans from across the country who will be visiting our city later this week.”
Shuttles will run every 30 minutes from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. from Nov. 17 to 20. On game day the shuttles will run every 30 minutes from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Thursday to Saturday.
On game day shuttles will run every 30 minutes from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and then continuously after that. The last bus will depart one hour after the game ends on Sunday.
Pickup locations will include Southland Mall, University of Regina, two stops downtown, four stops in the Warehouse District, and 27 Regina hotels.
Shuttle use is encouraged, and Regina Police remind all Grey Cup participants not to drive under the influence of alcohol or cannabis.
“It’s not uncommon for us to be included in game day security and planning as well as the transportation portion of it,” said Insp. Chris Jackiw with Regina police.
Regina police will have a visible presence at the festival events and will be working closely with venue security and volunteers throughout the week.
“Any events where there will be consumption of alcohol, police will be present the whole time. As the week progresses, more officers will be seen.”
Over 100 officers will be working on game day at traffic points, inside the stadium and outdoors on site.