Ev­ery­thing set to go

Mur­ray Har­bour is ready to host Stan­ley Cup on Tues­day

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY STEVE SHARRATT THE GUARDIAN

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.

STEVE SHARRATT/THE GUARDIAN

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.

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