NextGen Energy Street Festival

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The Grey Cup Festival goes on strong whether there’s snow or shine (or night time by 6 p.m.). victoria baht

This full-day celebration as part of the Grey Cup Festival offered fun and competition, fireside s’mores, and more

As I am sure most of you Saskatchewan residents are aware, the 109th Grey Cup Championship game was held in Regina’s Mosaic Stadium last week. This meant we also had events happening all week to entertain those who had come from far and near to enjoy. This was known as the Grey Cup Festival. It started on Tuesday, November 15, and events took place until game day, November 20. Today, I am going to be reflecting on the Grey Cup Festival to tell you what it was all about, what you may have missed, and to encourage you to go to the next one.

The last Grey Cup held in Saskatchewan was in 2013 when the Saskatchewan Roughriders played against the Hamilton Tiger Cats, coming to an ending score of 45-23 for the Roughriders. This is a memory that Roughrider fans will not forget.

Even with the Roughriders not playing in this championship game, that didn’t discourage us from going out and having fun in the winter, celebrating the love of football. That is one thing that I personally love about festivals like this in good old Regina, Saskatchewan. No matter the weather, we will get all geared up and go have some fun in the cold because that is honestly just what we have to do sometimes.

This past weekend, I attended the Grey Cup Festival on Saturday, November 19. I will be talking in detail about a family-friendly event so everyone can enjoy it and plan on heading out next time. I had the opportunity to participate in many events. Because there was so much to do, I will be talking a great deal about the one big festival that was there: the NextGen Energy Street Festival. It took place from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Confederation Park. This event was held outside with options to stay outside or to walk from tent to tent to participate in activities as well. A few companies were involved with the NextGen Energy Street Festival, and all had unique events.

First was the NextGen Fanzone. This is where you had the chance to complete four football-like challenges to test your ultimate football skill. When you first walk into the tent, the first skill test you come to is the light-up seesaws. This is where you get on the seesaw no matter your age and you use your legs to power up. The longer you moved the seesaw, the more it lit up, but you had to use a lot of leg power to move the seesaw. Once you got your legs warmed up, the next challenge was kicking accuracy. This is where you got the chance to kick a pretend field goal – trust me, it is harder than it looks.

Now, you think you would be done with the leg work, correct? Well, that is not the case. The third activity involved the end-zone race. This is where you and an opponent sit on football-shaped bikes, and you must race to the end zone. As you start biking, some lights on a field goal post light up, and the more you pedal the higher the light reaches. Finally, the last skill is a general skills competition where you challenge yourself or a partner to throw some footballs into some challenging baskets, all at different levels. These were all great activities put on by the NextGen Fanzone, but that’s not all.

Once you left that tent and walked around, you came across some curling. CTV presented two sheets of ice where attendees had the chance to throw two curling rocks across the ice to see if they were a true curler. Do not worry about having to move the heavy rocks, they had options for kids and adults to both be able to slide down the sheet of ice.

So, you got to do some football and curling, what’s next? The SaskPower tube slide. To me, it would not be a Saskatchewan event in the winter if there were no tobogganing events, but SaskPower pulled through! After filling out the waiver form and waiting in line, you grab a tube and up you go to the top of the slide. Then, take a seat on the tube and get pushed down the slide. This is great fun for all ages, and I saw all ages go down the slide and enjoy the event just like we were all little kids riding toboggans down a hill.

Once I finished zipping down the tube slide, I became a little chilly, and this is where I took the opportunity to go and warm up next to a fire. A little ways down I saw a fire going, and when I walked over there I noticed that there was a fire and s’mores to enjoy. What is better than enjoying a s’more in the winter with your toes tingling in the cold?

When I went to this event, I went later at night, and got a bit of an extra show for going in the evening because at 9 p.m. there was a live drone show. 300 drones moved around in the sky to a background story and showed some art with it. As the show went on, it told a story about Turtle Island and a story about Indigenous traditions, which then transformed into a story about football and the Grey Cup. This show must have taken a great deal of practice and time to finish.

So, those were some events that you may have missed at the Grey Cup Festival, or got to participate in! Honestly, the Grey Cup Festival was a great one, and I think lots of time and effort was put into it. There were a lot more events that were not mentioned in this article, but the Carillon wanted to do a family-friendly event for everyone to enjoy and only had so much space on this page to do so. Next time the Grey Cup is here, make sure to check out some of the activities that come this way, and stay warm out there doing those winter activities.

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