The cover of the Revelstoke Times in 1989 after the second year of the Glacier Challenge softball tournament. I guess they were right.

Glacier Challenge celebrates 25 years of bats, balls, bases and booze

25th anniversary tournament to feature more than twice as many teams as 1988 debut

Slo-pitch was a big deal in Revelstoke back in 1988. There was an annual men’s tournament that received full coverage and a complete photo spread in the newspaper. The end of the league season was also a big deal.

That year, a group of local business people got together looking for a way to bring tourists in to Revelstoke. They decided to host a big slo-pitch tournament on the August long-weekend.

That year, 60 teams from across British Columbia and Alberta flocked to town to take part in the first ever Kokanee Glacier Slo-pitch tournament. It was billed as the “largest community event ever in Revelstoke.”

Local teams took part and competed against teams from as far away as Victoria and Edmonton. There was also mud volleyball, helicopter tours of the area, and a dance at the arena with more than 1,000 people in attendance. The Tally-Hos from Victoria won the $700 prize.

“Considering none of us had run a tournament before, I’d say we did an excellent job,” said tournament chairman and future mayor Mark McKee at the time.

The next year about 1,500 players on 66 teams took part – 55 in the fun league and 11 in the competitive division. The dance was moved to Grizzly Plaza and 1,500 people showed up. The success of the first year brought many teams back.

“We had a really good time so we decided to do it again,” Craig Duncan of the Metro Ford T-Birds from Calgary told the Revelstoke Times. “Personally I’m just here for the beer.”

The beer, which for many has come to define the tournament, turning Centennial Park, and almost every other green space in Revelstoke into a big party and a major fundraiser for local groups that collect the empties.

By 1992 the tournament was at 99 teams. “Another Glacier Challenge ball tournament has come and gone, providing another chapter in a local success story,” wrote the Revelstoke Times. “It’s a win-situation from the players who spend four days in the sun to the spectators kibitzing from the sidelines.”

This year organizers are aiming for 130 teams. Molson Canadian has come on as the main sponsor. There’s a complete line-up of bands for the entire weekend.

On Friday, locals the Maritime Kitchen Party open up for Vancouver rock-pop band The Boom Booms.

Saturday features the first ever Glacier Challenge open mic during the day. At night Blindspot opens for Redeye Empire.

On Sunday Blindspot once again takes the stage, this time opening for the Werewolves of Creston.

The music closes with the Maritime Kitchen Party on Monday afternoon.

In town, the presence of several thousand revellers is felt most prominently at the grocery and liquor stores. Campsites fill up, as do many hotels. Some locals do what they can to escape the madness, others revel in the festival-like atmosphere.

 

Just Posted

Snowfall warning issued for Highway 1 from east of Sicamous to Golden

Environment Canada says to expect 15-30 cm of snow by Thursday evening

Q and A with MLA Doug Clovechok for Columbia River Revelstoke

Columbia River Treaty, Three Valley Gap improvements, caribou, and invasive species were discussed

UPDATE: Highway 1 closed east of Revelstoke, set to reopen at 7:30 p.m.

Highway 1 is closed east of Revelstoke near the west entrance to… Continue reading

Cafe opens in U.S. named Revelstoke Coffee

The owners visited Revelstoke two years ago, loved it and decided to name their business after it

Revelstoke council to hear first proposed cannabis store application

Starbuds would be located at 109 Connaught Ave.

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

Single-bridge option chosen to replace Highway 1 bridge in Sicamous

Five-lane span selected over plan with second bridge at Sicamous’ Main Street

Submissions sought for UBC Okanagan’s annual fiction competition

University’s annual short-story contest enters its 21st year

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Another B.C. city votes to ban single-use plastic bags

First six months of proposed ban would focus on education, not enforcement

Most Read