On the first weekend of November, Orillia was the centre of the hockey universe as Rogers Hometown Hockey came to the city’s waterfront for its weekly national broadcast.
The three-day event culminated on the Sunday night when the pre-game show, prior to the featured NHL game between Chicago and Montreal, focused on Orillia and its deep hockey roots. Co-hosts Ron MacLean and Tara Slone shared stories about Orillia legends past and present.
As part of the festivities at the Orillia waterfront, there was a stage for live music, a ball hockey rink, selfie stations, interactive exhibits and other activities. There was also a community fund-raising barbecue.
Volunteers from the Orillia Minor Hockey Association, Orillia Girls Hockey Association and North Central Predators AAA Hockey Association teamed up to operate a grill where people could buy hot dogs and hamburgers and sausage-on-a-bun while helping good causes. The leftover meat was donated to the Lighthouse Shelter.
This week, the proceeds from Hometown Hockey were handed out to two local groups: The Sharing Place Food Bank and Special Olympics Orillia. The money was presented to the local groups at the Special Olympics’ weekly bowling night at Orillia Bowl.