Vernon Mayor Victor Cummings finishes the 2019 Canada Games torch relay in Vernon Tuesday. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

Vernon Mayor Victor Cummings finishes the 2019 Canada Games torch relay in Vernon Tuesday. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

Canada Games torch visits Vernon

The torch relay will visit a total of 48 communities before ending in Red Deer for the 2019 Canada Games in February.

After being lit at the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, the Roly McLenahan Torch began making its way across Canada, finally reaching Vernon Wednesday.

This marked the first-ever national MNP Canada Games Torch Relay. Over the coming months, torch relays and community celebration stops are being held across Canada before arriving in Red Deer, Alberta for the Opening Ceremony of the 2019 Canada Winter Games on Feb. 15.

Related: Canada Winter Games torch burns in Vernon

Related: Canada Games torchbearers for Kelowna reflect on experience

Torch in hand, Mayor Victor Cumming, Member of Parliament Mel Arnold and MNP partner Blair Gronlund began their relay run at Vernon City Hall. They made their way across Highway 97, finishing at the Vernon Recreation Centre.

Afterwards, a celebration ensued in the Halina Centre gym. This included a HockeyShot, a photo booth with Waskasoo the mascot, games, prizes, hot chocolate, snacks, caricatures and outdoor skating.

The 2019 Canada Winter Games kick off in Red Deer Feb. 15 and run until March 3. The sporting event is slated to feature 19 sports, more than 150 events and a major cultural festival with up to 3,600 athletes, managers and coaches and 20,000 visitors in attendance.

Related: B.C. female hockey players shortlisted for Canada Winter Games team

Related: Vernon Special Olympians golden (and silver) at Canada Games

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The relay ended to the sound of the Vernon highlanders at the Recreation Centre in Vernon. (Roger Knox/ Morning Star)

The relay ended to the sound of the Vernon highlanders at the Recreation Centre in Vernon. (Roger Knox/ Morning Star)

Waskasoo, the 2019 Canada Winter Games mascot, also made an appearance in Vernon for the post-walk celebration. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

Waskasoo, the 2019 Canada Winter Games mascot, also made an appearance in Vernon for the post-walk celebration. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)