Rockies Day action starts at 9 a.m. before the Rockies take the ice for their home opener at 7:30 p.m.

Rockies ready for home opener

Sharpen your skates and get your giant foam fingers ready.

Sharpen your skates and get your giant foam fingers ready because the Columbia Valley Rockies are hitting the ice in style with a full day of excitement known as Rockies Day coming up on September 15.

“We’re inviting people to come out to see what we’re all about,” said Rockies vice-president Graham Anderson. “It’s an entertaining experience and it’s going to be a good social night out.”

The day starts with a bang at 9 a.m. when the brand new running race — participants can choose to enter the three or five kilometre course — gives runners and Rockies fans alike a chance to support their team and get some cool keepsake Rockies souvenirs. The race is open to all age groups, and prizes will be awarded for first, second and third-place finishers both overall and per age category. Registration is $20 for adults and $10 for those 12 and under. There will be a one-day pre-register on Monday (September 10) at the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena, and you can also register online at either www.rockieshockey.ca or at www.facebook.com/columbiavalley.rockies. Race packages can be picked up on Friday, September 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the arena, or at 8 a.m. on Saturday, August 15 at the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena,  and race day registrations will not be accepted.

“It’s a bit of a different idea… to first promote the team, and the day, and to give all the runners in the community something to do, and to get more people interested and get more people aware of what the team is all about,” Anderson said.

Following the race, Rockies Day will continue with a family barbecue and tailgate party starting at about 2 p.m. outside the arena, where food and refreshments available. Soon after, the much-anticipated Alumni Game will start, beginning with introductions at 4 p.m. before the game begins at 4:30 p.m. Rockies players from several different decades will be taking to the ice, including players from the very first Rockies squad from 1978.

Familiar names that will be taking the ice for the Alumni Game include former Rockies and NHL goaltender Wade Dubielewicz and professional hockey player Marc Garthe, and Anderson said some local celebrities should be on hand as well to take in the action.

“For me, (I’m looking forward to) meeting a lot of these guys who played many years ago, who I’ve never met before,” Anderson said. “It’s going to be a really fun and entertaining day… there’s a lot of excitement from the [alumni] who are coming. There’s a lot of people out there who had some of these guys as billets when they were 17, 18 and 19, and some of them are now coming back in their 40’s.”

After what should be a great warm-up for fans, the 2012-2013 season will officially kick off with the Columbia Valley Rockies home opener at 7:30 p.m. Our local boys will be battling against a familiar foe — the Golden Rockets.

Admission is regular game price, $8 for adults and $5 for seniors and students, and covers admission to both the Alumni Game and the home opener. Following the home opener, fans will have a chance to interact with some of the Rockies’ greats in the lobby of the arena.

For a full breakdown and preview of the Rockies upcoming season, be sure to check out next week’s issue of The Valley Echo.

“I think [Rockies Day] is something we should all be looking forward to,” Anderson said. “We just want to remind the whole Columbia Valley that it’s their team, it’s the valleys’ team, it’s not just Invermere. We think it’s a privilege for our community to have the team here.”