The ice goes in tomorrow.
This time next week, the best curlers in the province, as well as some of the best in the world, will be convening on Lacombe for the 2014 Boston Pizza Cup.
This includes two of the biggest names in men’s curling, Kevin Martin and Kevin Koe. Both Martin and Koe are former BP Cup Champions, former World Champions and Martin even has an Olympic gold medal under his belt.
“Some of the best curling in the world is going to be showcased here,” said Boston Pizza Cup Chair Don Gullekson.
On Feb. 5, the kickoff for the Boston Pizza Cup is planned. There will be a morning draw to determine the seeding of the bottom eight qualifiers, then the opening banquet lunch and finally the opening ceremonies at 5:30 p.m.
Organizers have also strived to make the BP Cup an all-ages event.
Gullekson said they are proud of the ‘Kidzone’ portion of the event which will see 500 schoolchildren coming to the event to watch some curling and also partake in the Rocks and Rings program which will be put on for their benefit.
“It’s a way of promoting curling,” said Gullekson. He added that Kidzone will also have some prizes and giveaways for its young participants and that some of Lacombe’s junior curlers will be participating in the Boston Pizza Cup opening ceremonies as well.
Ice for the Boston Pizza Cup will be built in the Lacombe arena tomorrow. If all goes well, it will be ready to curl on by Monday, said Gullekson.
Once the ice is in, Lacombe Curling Club members will have a chance to play some ends in order to test the ice and see if any adjustments need to be made.
This is a great time for Lacombe to be hosting the Alberta Men’s Curling Championships, said Lacombe Curling Club Manager Mandy Peakman.
With 2014 being an Olympic year and curling an Olympic event, the Boston Pizza Cup and curling draw more exposure than they would otherwise.
“There is always more interest (when it is an Olympic year),” said Peakman. “Olympics has really improved the world’s view on curling.”
There is more than just world-class curling happening at the BP Cup as well.
Every night will feature different entertainment in both the Owl’s Nest VIP Lounge and White Owl Whisky Lounge.
To kick things off, Molson will be hosting a ‘beer and cheese’ night on the evening of Feb. 5. Gullekson said that Molson will be on hand with their trademark beverages and the Molson Girls will be at the Owl Whisky Lounge. “It’s kind of a fun night to kick the week off.”
In addition to the Molson beer and cheese night on Wednesday, there is a Ladies Night Wine and Cheese event on Feb. 6 featuring special entertainment as well.
Gullekson added that effort has been made to book local, Central Alberta artists for entertainment during the BP Cup and that they will be performing almost continuously during the event.
“There’s some stuff happening all the time,” said Gullekson. “So we are hoping that people come and participate in all of it, not just the curling.”
Both Peakman and Gullekson mentioned that one thing event organizers would like to promote is that there is assigned seating for the Boston Pizza Cup.
Unlike most events at Lacombe’s arenas, tickets purchased will have a section, row and seat number.
There are still lots of tickets on sale for the event, though seating choices have diminished. Gullekson said that tickets will be sold at the door as well but purchasing ahead of time is encouraged to ensure best choice of seating.
A list of ticket packages available can be viewed at www.2014bostonpizzacup.com/tickets. Tickets can be purchased online or from Mandy Peakman at 403-598-9302 as well.