A Trip to the Grey Cup

Cpl Sean Wight
24 Jan 2006

It was a gloomy morning on the 22 of November when myself and the rest of the 1 P.P.C.L.I. Drum line departed Edmonton on our way to Vancouver for the Grey Cup. First stop was Tim Horton’s, and then we hit the highway. The drive was long but fairly uneventful and it was late when we finally pulled into Vernon for the night. After a good night’s rest, and another stop at Tim Horton’s, we were back on the highway and making our way through the beautiful B.C. interior. Eight hours later we were pulling into Vancouver, with the only mishap being a flat tire on the way through Abbotsford. Once we found our Travel Lodge we unloaded our kit and ran through some practices while the Drum Major met up with the Calgary Stampede committee to find out the timings of our shows.

Thursday 24 November, we meet up with the Stampede Committee at their hotel and proceeded to an elementary school to do a show to bring up the morale of the students, whose principal is very ill at the time. The show went well and the students loved it! We then packed up our things and went down to B.C. Place. We needed to get our things ready for our next show which would be later that afternoon. We then went for lunch and relaxed in our rooms until it was time to leave. The second show of the day was for the Stampede Committee itself, at a promo party in the Sports Hall of Fame in B.C. Place. It too went well and we stayed for a while after the show to mingle with the crowd.

On Friday we had some down time so we went to the Aquarium and checked out the marine life of the local area. I’ve never been to the west coast before so I wanted to take in as much as I could. In the afternoon we went to the Cappilano suspension bridge. For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s a 300ft suspension bridge that crosses a deep ravine. It was originally built in the late 1800’s. Later on, after dinner, we went back to the hotel that the Stampede Committee was staying at to have a few drinks.

Saturday morning: the day of the Grey Cup parade. We hoisted up our instruments and prepared for the longest 3 miles of our lives. Thankfully the weather was perfect for a parade. Unlike the rainy days we had before and after that day, it was very sunny and warm. Though the parade was long, it went very well. We were just thankful to get the drums off of their slings when it was all done. We went back to the hotel that night and had a couple more drinks with the committee.

Sunday: Grey Cup day! We had a private booth arranged for us at B.C. place in the hall of fame. It had a big screen TV in it as well as an excellent view of the field. We had a few drinks provided to us, as well as the added entertainment of Pamela Anderson and the rest of her entourage cutting through our booth at various times throughout the game. The game was very exciting, breaking a few records and going into overtime. When it was all over, it was time to party! The whole city was alive with excitement from the game. Everyone went out to celebrate the Eskimos win.

On Monday morning and we loaded up the vans to head back to Edmonton. It’s a long drive and we stopped back in Vernon on the way. As much fun as the trip was, we were all anxious to get back home. The drive was pretty much uneventful and we pulled back into Edmonton late in the evening on Tuesday, grateful for the experience and glad to be home.