Members of Calgary's Grey Cup committee started leaving for Toronto today to take part in festivities surrounding the CFL's championship game this weekend.
Ald. Ray Jones, a longtime council representative on the Calgary committee, says he is looking forward to seeing rowdy Calgarians parade a horse through the lobby of the Royal York Hotel on Thursday morning — just like they did in 1948.
That year in CFL history is often remembered fondly by Calgary football fans as being the city's first Grey Cup win and a year that saw local fans bring pageantry to the championship festivities in Toronto.
"We've already got a room booked for the horse, so it should be pretty exciting," he said. "It's tough to get, you know we can't bring our own horse from here. We have to get them down there so we hope we don't get one that's spooky."
Jones says the Grey Cup events tend to get overlooked in Toronto, but he's hoping that with the hometown team in the big game this year Torontonians will get involved in some of the hoopla leading up to Sunday.
The Calgary Grey Cup Committee's preparations are already in full swing for the 100th Grey Cup.
The group, which is made up of about 100 volunteers from Calgary, has travelled to every host Grey Cup city to put on parties, pancake breakfasts and other events for the last six decades.
Up to 5,000 expected at pancake breakfasts
Committee chair Fletcher Armstrong flew out of Calgary this morning.
"Now it just makes it so much better that the Stampeders are in the final and playing in Toronto like they did in 1948 when the party first started," he said.
"We'll still bring to the table two breakfasts — 2,500 people per breakfast — passion for the game, passion for the Stampeders [and] passion for the CFL all around."
Stamps season ticketholder Don Strangward is also getting ready to meet a group of friends from across Canada in Toronto for the last, and most important game of the year.
"10 tickets, 11th row midfield — we're gonna light 'er up," he said as he walked out of the Stamps store at McMahon Stadium with a bag of Stampeders gear.
"A couple of the other fellas didn't have enough Stamps stuff so I'm loading here up here."
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Greycup here we come!!!!#calstampeders
#TorontoArgos & #Calstampeders at the 100th Grey Cup, didn't see that coming.
John R. Bolton
The Stamps are Grey Cup bound. Watch out Toronto the west is coming east to beat you up in your house. #CalStampeders #CFL
Gotta love it. Huff vs Barker. Campbell vs Jones. Ray vs Stamps. Very proud #CalStampeders represent the West in the 100th edition of Cup.
Team effort but huge love to the O line tonight. Win the line of scrimmage. Made a huge difference. #CalStampeders #CFL #winthecup
Congrats #Stamps!! Great game!! Can't wait for Grey Cup. We leave thursday for Toronto, bringing the Red! #calstampeders
@calstampeders Congrats on the big win! If u guys can duplicate what u did this week next week Your thee champs! #CFL #calstampeders
Stamps are going to the grey cup! Awesome #calstampeders #stamps
Awfully proud of #CalStampeders Resilient through injuries all year. Huff & staff did awesome job juggling as coaches & GM. #GoStampsGo
I had a feeling this would happen #stampswin #CalStampeders #greycup
A repeat of '71 and '91. The #Argos vs. the #Calstampeders in the 100th Grey Cup. #CFL
@alishawsamnanii how bout them #calstampeders hey? Sorry, your Lions just weren't good enough #gostampsgo
I'm still pumped about the @calstampeders win today! Can't wait for the Grey Cup next Sunday. #calstampeders #WONtheWest #WinTheLeague
Lots of red at the #yvr airport tonight #GC100 #calstampeders #GoStampsGo
Awesome game today Boys! #calstampeders all the way! A Christmas Present for the City! Go! Stamps! Go!
Stamps going to grey cup. Way to go! #CalStampeders #yyc