The Grey Cup has been a part of Canada for 109 years now, and this year the game was in Regina for the fourth time in Grey Cup history. Regina Downtown Business Improvement District (RDBID) wanted to bring the spirit of the Grey Cup to the downtown for its residents and businesses. RDBID’s, Touchdown Downtown event, which took place between November 16th and November 19th on the Pat Fiacco Plaza was a celebration of sports, culture, and Canada.

The first day of the event feature live music from Jeff Mertick, Six String Kings and Kings for the Day. All three acts are local to Saskatchewan and had the event tent rocking all evening. As well, with the cold temperatures outside, the firepits that Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s welding program fabricated were popular to be around. Additional to the music, ice carving by Peter Fogarty of Fire and Ice provided by Avana, was on display for people to take fantastic photos for their social media.

Unfortunately, the second day of Touchdown Downtown was cancelled due to the weather, which was fitting because nothing is more Canadian than cold weather. Fortunately, even though Touchdown Downtown had to be cancelled there was still a lot to do inside downtown. For example, The Fat Badger hosted a party for the Canadian Football League Players Association, which was open to the public. Additionally, Touchdown Downtown Overtime happened with various performances in downtown venues, including the Cure Kitchen + Bar, O’Hanlons Irish Pub, Neutral Ground Artist Run Centre and The Fat Badger. The hotels downtown were also bustling with people coming and going to their events.

On Saturday Touchdown Downtown was opened again in full swing. The day started with a chili lunch. The chili was provided by The Fat Badger, Union Station Restaurant + Bar and the Canadia Life Cafeteria. The three chili’s were delicious, as to be expected from an all-star group of downtown restaurants.

Additionally, plenty of families came out and enjoyed the interactive ice sculptures, football movie screenings and creation station (arts and crafts with a football theme for kids). Gainer the Gopher even set up a temporary den, so he didn’t have to go all the way to Parkberg every night during the Grey Cup week. His den included Roughrider merch, his old TV, radio and the only book he owns: “Canadian Football for Dummies”. He was gracious enough to let people take photos in his den while he was away.

One big element of Touchdown Downtown was art. Some of the art at Touchdown Downtown included an outdoor art gallery presented by the MacCorquodale family and was curated by Holly Aubichon of Sâkêwêwak First Nations Artists’ Collective. The collection was called “Three Circles” and included three artists’ work over a three-decade period. The three artists whose work was featured were Ron Ewenin Wapemoose, Jori Cachene, and Jamie Reynolds.

Additionally, in partnership with Nuit Blanche Regina, a digital mural was displayed on the corner of Albert Street and Victoria Avenue. The digital mural featured twelve local artists and the art was football and Saskatchewan Roughrider themed. 

After Touchdown Downtown wrapped up plenty of downtown businesses continued to celebrate. The celebration of Canadian football was on every street downtown. During Grey Cup week Regina’s downtown did a great job of welcoming football fans from across Canada, showcasing the best that Regina has to offer. 

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