Everything set to go
Murray Harbour is ready to host Stanley Cup on Tuesday
The signs are up, the paintbrushes are wet, and there’s fresh blacktop on the road.
It’s all in anticipation of the arrival of Lord Stanley’s mug and hometown hero Brad Richards Tuesday.
The tiny village on the shores of the Northumberland Strait is once again busting with pride and awaiting the second such visit of their hero and the holy grail of hockey.
Richards triumphantly delivered the Stanley Cup here in 2004 when he played for the Tampa Bay Lightning and earned the Conn Smythe trophy as the most valuable player. Now at 35, he’s back again with the historic icon after winning this year with the Chicago Black Hawks.
There will be a parade at noon taking Richards and the cup on the family fishing boat to the community centre where the hockey hero and Premier Wade MacLauchlan will speak.
During the first visit 11 years ago, Jennifer Butler was the 15 year old reigning Miss Northumberland Fisheries Festival and was invited to attend the celebrity fundraising dinner at the local rink.
“I wore my sash and all the hockey players signed it,’’ she said, while painting the trim at her parent’s co-op store. “I still have it.”
The sign at Butler’s grocery store is in countdown mode, clicking off the days until the big celebration.
Parade organizer, Carol White, is back at the helm armed with the experience of the same event 11 years ago and the minor hockey association will be selling water and hot dogs.
Even Sgt. Kevin Baillie of the RCMP is anxious to get a look at the famous hockey mug.
“I will be working that day and glad I am,’’ he said. “We will have a police presence to help with the crowds.”
In 2004, an estimated 10,000 people flooded into the village of 400 and many had the chance to get their photo taken with the cup. The photo ops won’t happen this time around and the crowd is expected to be a little lighter.
The village’s newest restaurant doesn’t usually open on Tuesday and staff will enjoy the parade instead.
“We’re just not geared up for it, we’re still growing,’’ said Adrian Ballinger of 5 Café that is located in a former church. “Anyway, we only have 35 seats and it might be difficult.”
Brehaut’s, the take out, will be closed to allow the staff to take in the parade, but will open following the festivities that end sometime around 1:30 p.m. Traffic restrictions will be in place at 10 a.m. and designated parking areas available.
Jennifer Butler paints the trim at her parent’s grocery store in preparation of the Stanley Cup arrival Tuesday. The town hosted its hero Brad Richards and the cup in 2004.