Hockeyvillemania builds

Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers will spend weekend in North Okanagan before Sunday's NHL pre-season tilt at Kal Tire Place

Troy Hobbs (left)

Troy Hobbs (left)

Lumby is preparing for the party of a lifetime.

Kraft Hockeyville celebrations will be held throughout the weekend, with the culmination being the NHL pre-season game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Los Angeles Kings Sunday.

“The buzz hasn’t stopped since we won in April,” said Angie Clowry, an organizer.

Activities get underway today with a Pat Duke Memorial Arena fundraiser at the Blue Ox  Pub starting at 4 p.m.

On Saturday, there is a pancake breakfast at the Old Age Pensioners Hall from 7:30 to 10 a.m., followed by a community celebration at Oval Park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will include entertainment, a barbecue by donation, a bouncy castle and face painting.

“Everyone can show up. It will be a great time to get together with your friends and family,” said Clowry.

The Lumby Museum will also open its doors and feature displays on the Flying Frenchmen hockey team and Pat Duke, Lumby’s first mayor.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, there will be an NHL Lumby youth hockey clinic at Pat Duke arena while there will be an officials clinic from 5 to 7 p.m.

The holy grail of hockey will be at Oval Park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“If you haven’t had your picture taken with the Stanley Cup before, be there,” said Clowry.

And from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday, there will be a question and answer session with Kings players at the White Valley Community Centre. It will be moderated  by Sportsnet’s Gene Principe and by Kevin Mitchell, Morning Star sports editor.

On Sunday, the day kicks off with a red carpet welcome for the NHL teams at Kal Tire Place in Vernon from 7:30 to 9 a.m.

“Get there early, especially if you have kids,” said Clowry. “We want the kids up close and personal. The players will be doing autographs and selfies. This is a time to make memories.”

The teams will then hit the ice at Kal Tire Place, starting with a Kings’ practice at 9:30 a.m. The Oilers will take to the ice at 10:30 a.m. The action then shifts back to Pat Duke arena from 12:30 to 2 p.m. for a free family skate. Mitchell will be back on hand for a question and answer session with some Oilers players.

The Oilers and the Kings then face off for the pre-season game at Kal Tire Place at 6 p.m., with viewing parties starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Blue Ox in Lumby and Brown’s Social House in Vernon.

Tickets for the practice and the game were distributed through a lottery system but not all tickets were claimed.

As a result, there is the possibility that tickets for practice could be handed out during the Saturday events in Lumby and the red carpet event at Kal Tire Place Sunday.

As for the game itself, there weren’t many spare tickets left and discussions have been held with local social agencies.

“We have found some important young people to get to the game,” said Clowry.

“They wouldn’t have an opportunity to be there otherwise.”