Beyond deciding which Canadian football team is the best in the league, the Grey Cup final is a time for celebration and bringing people together.
With the big game only two days away, Regina is seeing the impact the championship game between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Toronto Argonauts is having on the CFL community.
Fans from across the country have piled into the Queen City in anticipation, and the party is only just beginning.
“This is the greatest game on the planet and this is the greatest game on the turf,” said one Blue Bombers fan at this week’s Grey Cup Festival. “This is a real Canadian tradition and it really brings the country together.”
For another Blue Bomber fan, this is a time to be with friends just as much as it is to go to the CFL’s biggest game.
“The game is great but it’s the festival and the people that draws us here.”
Team party rooms for people aged 19 with and over with a purchased pass really filled up Friday, a bigger and bigger draw for fans each year they are offered.
Echoes of “Let’s go Bombers” and “Let’s go Argonauts” can be heard throughout the festival as fans anticipate the big game.
One fan who won’t be cheering for either team in particular but is thrilled to be part of the Grey Cup events is Regina mayor Sandra Masters.
“People have been out, they’ve been celebrating just the Grey Cup itself and it’s wonderful to see,” Masters said. “And that’s what I think it’s about. It’s about bringing community together.”
She says seeing every CFL jersey in one place is something to remember.
“I’m just so impressed with how happy everyone is and getting news that we’ve got folks coming from all over the country and we know we’re a great host city, so it’s pretty fantastic,” Masters said.
She said in a time of many people feeling divided, she hopes the Grey Cup is one way people can come together.
“I think it’s really needed in terms of connection, but connection not just within our own community, but to the rest of the country as well,” Masters explained.
When asked what colour she would be wearing on Sunday, there was only one correct answer being in Saskatchewan.
“I’ll be wearing green.”
The 109th Grey Cup kicks off at 5 p.m. CST on Sunday Nov. 20.
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