Legendary sportscasters, NHL alumni, musical guests and more are descending on Winkler this weekend for Hometown Hockey.
Festivities kick off Saturday, March 2 at noon in downtown Winkler.
Special guests at the festival include NHL alumni Ed Belfour and Grant Clitsome, The Stanley Cup and music by Tyler Del Pino, The Color, and Doc Walker.
City of Winkler's Jordan Driedger explains they expect to see visitors from across the region, "it is a once-in-a-lifetime thing."
"I grew up watching Ron Maclean on Hockey Night in Canada, so to see the pre-game show broadcast live from Main St., that's the highlight for me."
The free festival continues Sunday, March 3 at noon, and runs through the end of the Hometown Hockey outdoor viewing party. However, before the Winnipeg Jets/Columbus Blue Jackets game at 6:30 Doc Walker lead guitarist and Kenora resident Dave Caissy will be playing a Gibson Les Paul guitar he has owned since he was 15 years old. Caissy transformed the Gibson into a Winnipeg Jets guitar which will be signed by Jets players and auctioned off for charity.
As part of the My Hometown Must segment, host Tara Slone will visit The Ens Heritage Homestead, a well-preserved farm that demonstrates how Mennonites from Russia organized their early settlements in Southern Manitoba.
The event will also leave a lasting impact on local non-profit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Morden, Winkler and Altona. The organization will be awarded the $15,000 Ted Rogers Community Grant. The grant will fund several youth mentoring programs, including in-school mentoring, Go Girls and Game On. These programs help youth make positive lifestyle choices, increase their self-confidence and engage in safe, healthy relationships.
However, to accommodate the event, Main St. will be closed from Mountain Ave to City Hall, along with Stanley Ave from 4th St. to 6th St. The closures take effect Thursday, February 28 starting at 5:00 a.m, before reopening Monday, March 4 at 1:00 a.m.
For a full schedule of the weekend's events go here: https://www.hometownhockey.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Winkler_Schedule.pdf