Despite a lack of Stampeders in the Grey Cup this year, Calgarians will still be there to show off a little local hospitality at the event in Vancouver this year.
The Calgary Grey Cup Committee — 70 volunteers strong — will load up a trailer and take to the road.
It’s been a tradition since 1948 when the Stampeders won their first Grey Cup and a bold batch of Calgarians hit the streets of Toronto to party it up.
“That sort of formed the Grey Cup Committee and we’ve been going to Grey Cup ever since,” said committee spokesman Brad Greenslade, who has been going on these road trips since 1996.
He’s been with the committee officially for a while now, but that first outing remains his favourite.
“We got invited into the committee reception and we also met some people from Hamilton that invited us to stay for a Thanksgiving dinner after Grey Cup,” said Greenslade.
“I was just a fantastic time (and) me and a couple of friends stayed a whole week after in Hamilton.”
It’ll be the committee doing the cooking this year, as has become tradition — they’re bringing grills and enough pancake batter to provide flapjacks for thousands of hungry sports loving Vancouverites.
They’re also bringing the Stampede Queen and Princesses, along with thousands of pieces of Calgary promotional material, including hats, pins and the like.
Greenslade said the idea is to bring the City of Calgary with them.
They bring a band every year — the four-piece western band Hi Steppin’ Daddy — and this year they’ll bring an entire stage set-up.
“The other thing we do each year on the Thursday of Grey Cup, we go to a high-needs elementary school — this year we’re going to the Admiral Seymour elementary school,” said Greenslade.
“We go in with our live band for an hour of dancing with the kids and just bring some spirit and life into their lives.”