By Dave Baxter (@davebbbaxter)WINNIPEG — The Canadian Football League’s holy grail made a very grand entrance at the Manitoba Legislature on Wednesday.
Representatives from the Manitoba Metis Federation escorted the Grey Cup from Upper Fort Garry to a ceremony at the legislature, just days before the trophy will be handed out to the team that prevails in this Sunday’s championship game at Investors Group Field.
CFL commissioner Jeffrey Orridge said he was “awestruck” seeing the cup arrive at the steps of the leg.
“This procession is truly awesome,” said Orridge. “I’ve been to a lot of places and seen a lot of ceremonies, but this one will stick with me.
“It is truly celebrating the history and heritage and culture of this community, so it’s fitting because the Grey Cup is such a big part of Canadian culture.”
The level of excitement and amount of activity going on in Winnipeg leading up to Sunday’s big game has also impressed Orridge
“It’s fantastic. The city has really got behind it, and there is a lot of energy.”
Hugh Harrison of Sudbury, Ontario has come to Winnipeg to take in his 17th straight Grey Cup game, and came to the legislature to see the Grey Cup on Wednesday.
“Every year we come for the party and stay for the game,” joked Harrison. “The Grey Cup is a source of pride because it’s the only professional sports trophy that is 100 per cent Canadian.”
Grey Cup Festival host committee co-chair David Asper said a lot of people have given a lot of time to make the Grey Cup game and all the events that surround it possible.
“Our host committee has been working for almost two years,” said Asper. “And over the next few days we will be joined by another 700 Manitobans volunteering at various events, and that’s truly amazing.”
The Ottawa Redblacks take on the Edmonton Eskimos in the Grey Cup game this Sunday at Investors Group Field.