From the Detroit Red Wings' Official Site, there's a preliminary schedule that has been released in regards to the Winter Festival that Detroit is putting on in honor of the 2013 Winter Classic and the game of hockey itself. Once again, Detroit will be setting the bar extremely high for all others to follow with over two weeks of celebration of the game we all love so much.
Make the jump for more details.
All of the events below will be taking place at Comerica Park - the site that SHOULD HAVE hosted the actual 2013 Winter Classic Game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and our beloved Detroit Red Wings. I'm all for breaking attendance records...but the backdrop of the Renaissance Center and downtown Detroit would have made an absolute wonderful setting for these two teams to skate to. This will be my second Winter Classic - the first being at Wrigley Field not 5 blocks due west of where I sit right now (how ironic). I can say that there was something very magical about Detroit sticking it to a bunch of drunk Chicago fans in their cathedral of disappointment...and I know first hand how many inebriated Chicago-faithful roam the streets of Wrigleyville...trust me.
However, I'm sure that the atmosphere in Ann Arbor will be electric in its own right.
Regardless, here are the activities as they are planned thus far starting in Mid December at CoPa:
DEC. 15-26: Celebration of Hockey featuring amateur games, corporate outings and open skates. Information on booking ice time can be obtained by visiting DetroitRedWings.com/icetime.
DEC. 27-31: Outdoor Festival featuring interactive games, autograph signings, face painting and ice sculpture exhibits as well as musical performances and entertainment.
DEC. 27-28: Great Lakes Invitational featuring the Michigan Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans, Western Michigan Broncos and Michigan Tech Huskies all competing for the 2012 MacInnes Cup.
DEC. 29: Ontario Hockey League doubleheader featuring the Windsor Spitfires taking on the Saginaw Spirit, and the Plymouth Whalers battling the J. Ross Robertson Cup champion London Knights.
DEC. 30: American Hockey League Game featuring the Grand Rapids Griffins and Toronto Marlies, AHL affiliates of the Red Wings and Maple Leafs, respectively.
DEC. 31: Red Wings-Maple Leafs Alumni Showdown featuring legendary players from two of the National Hockey League’s most storied franchises going head-to-head.
If you think about it, that Alumni Game on New Year's Eve could turn out to be quite the spectacle. With guys like Draper, Chelios, Maltby, and Osgood most likely playing for sure...the Red and White might be able to make it a blood bath even without Stevie-Y. And what about wild card alums like Lidstrom or even the polarizing Sergei Fedorov?
Who wants to see Vlad drop the ceremonial first puck? We should make that happen...Alumni Game or even the real deal on New Year's Day.
I think we should invite Brendan Shanahan to play just so someone can shove his head into the glass (twice), pull out $2,500, and then set it on fire...just a thought.
This December is going to be something special in the city of my birth. You can bet your sweet bippy that I'll be there for as much as time will allow...seriously.
And with that said, I invite you to do the same...
Ticketing information for these events as well as the 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic (Detroit vs. Toronto – January 1 at Michigan Stadium) is being distributed to members of the Red Wings Season Ticket Holder Family this week. Information on purchasing 2012-13 Red Wings® Season Tickets and thereby gaining exclusive access to 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and 2012 Hockeytown Winter Festival seats can be obtained by calling 313-396-7575. Information regarding public on sales for all 2013 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic and 2012 Hockeytown Winter Festival events will be available later this summer. For the latest news, visit DetroitRedWings.com/2013WinterClassic.