Campbell River Hometown Hockey festival worth the wait

A trio of Canucks fans got to meet former goalie Kirk McLean. Ronan O’Doherty photo/ Campbell River MirrorA trio of Canucks fans got to meet former goalie Kirk McLean. Ronan O’Doherty photo/ Campbell River Mirror
A hockey-themed juggling performance was one of many spectacles at Rogers Hometown Hockey in Campbell River. Ronan O’Doherty photo/ Campbell River MirrorA hockey-themed juggling performance was one of many spectacles at Rogers Hometown Hockey in Campbell River. Ronan O’Doherty photo/ Campbell River Mirror
A young fan lines up a slap shot at Rogers Hometown Hockey in Campbell River. Ronan O’Doherty photo/ Campbell River MirrorA young fan lines up a slap shot at Rogers Hometown Hockey in Campbell River. Ronan O’Doherty photo/ Campbell River Mirror
A few young players try out some three-on-three in the Desjardins ball-hockey rink at Rogers Hometown Hockey in Campbell River. Ronan O’Doherty photo/ Campbell River MirrorA few young players try out some three-on-three in the Desjardins ball-hockey rink at Rogers Hometown Hockey in Campbell River. Ronan O’Doherty photo/ Campbell River Mirror

Rogers Hometown hockey was originally scheduled to visit Campbell River in March, 2020.

However, like many events around that time, it was postponed, leaving fans a little disappointed.

Two years later, the festival finally took place April 16-18, and the weather played along, making it a terrific weekend to celebrate Canada’s favourite sport.

Event goers were treated to rousing live music, and a host of different games to test shot strength, shot accuracy, and puck handling skills.

One of the stand-out offerings was The Hockey Circus Show, where an acrobat with a love of the game was wowing audiences with his hockey-themed juggling/ stunts, while making wise cracks about everybody’s favourite teams.

Canucks fans were also lining up in droves to meet former Vancouver goal tender Kirk McLean, who graciously signed autographs and posed for pics.

Photo opportunities were aplenty, with a giant Stanley Cup replica, as well as comically large gloves and goalie mask at the festival entrance for people to ham in front of.

Another favourite was the Desjardin ball hockey rink, where teams competed in three-on-three games for local bragging rights.

The event was scheduled to culminate Monday with Ron MacLean and Tara Slone broadcasting a special double-header broadcast live from the Maritime Heritage Centre, but an issue with the broadcast team prevented a live-on-site show.

Several broadcast crew members were placed in COVID-19 protocols, so MacLean and Tara Slone will deliver the broadcast from remote locations.

The Rogers Hometown Hockey viewing party in Campbell River will still take place on Monday, centered around an NHL double-header featuring Calgary Flames vs. Chicago Blackhawks, followed by Dallas Stars vs. Vancouver Canucks, but the hosts will now tell the stories that celebrate the hockey history and culture that put Campbell River on Canada’s hockey map from remote locations.

READ MORE: Campbell Riverites urged to Paint the Town Red for Rogers Hometown Hockey

READ MORE: Campbell River gets second chance to host pandemic-cancelled Hometown Hockey in April

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