By Amy Flexman, Revelstoke Glacier Challenge
This year Revelstoke celebrates the 26th annual Glacier Challenge Mixed Slow Pitch Tournament during the August long weekend.
On Friday, Aug. 2, there will be around 90 teams of guys and gals that love to play ball with their entourage of family, friends and fans arriving to the Centennial Ball Fields here in Revelstoke. This has been a tradition each August long weekend that has carried on for 26 years, seeing up to 140 teams participate each year.
Old friends and family reunite, new memories are made and there is a great sense of camaraderie amongst the teams, fans, vendors, entertainers and Glacier Challenge volunteers.
Each year the number of teams seems to dwindle, as is the trend in a lot of team sport tournaments nowadays. However, whether the numbers are small or mighty in comparison to the past, there continues to be an excellent, high energy group of ball enthusiasts and curious fans and friends who come to participate in the Glacier Challenge.
There are three team divisions – recreational, beginner and intermediate – with each team guaranteed four games and loads of fun.
Teams come from all over B.C. and Alberta and come back year after year for excellent tournament action. This is one of the largest ball tournaments in B.C. right here in Revelstoke.
Last year the champs were Team USA and they are chomping at the bit for more action this year.
If you wish you were playing and don’t have a team, swing by the community centre and they will put you on a singles list and try to get you on a team that’s short a few players – we always have room for more!
Games start at 6:30–8:30 Friday night, and start up again each day at 8 a.m. until late night. A crowd favourite is the late night games under the Industrial Field lights on Saturday night. Monday morning, the final games are played, wrapping up the tournament by the early afternoon with the championships games. Updates to the schedules, photos and highlights will be made on the glacierchallenge.com web page and our Revelstoke Glacier Challenge Facebook page throughout the tournament so you can check out all of the action on your smart phone.
There is more to do than playing slow pitch though during the tournament. Vendors from Revelstoke and beyond are serving up hot dogs, burgers, gyozas, bacon & eggers, smoothies, ice cream, and donuts in our food court. This year we have the Smoothie Bike, Duke’s Dogs, Mom’s Kitchen, Gung Ho Gyozas, Kinos Mini Doughnuts & Chicken Souvlaki; and Fun Hog Adventures Ice Cream, Floats and Italian Sodas.
Centennial Park is transformed into a camping and baseball massive tailgate party atmosphere with the Revelstoke Ski Club taking care of the camping and taking care of collecting all the empties from the party. The Rotary Club runs the Molson Beer Gardens, serving Pilsner, Coor’s Light, Canadian and coolers for only $4.
In addition to great refreshments the beer gardens also includes a huge line up of music each year to attract everyone to the dance floor after a big day on the field. This year we have a brand new community stage purchased with the help the Rotary Club, Revelstoke Arts Council, Glacier Challenge and Revelstoke Tourism Infrastructure Fund to showcase some amazing live music talent. It’s only $10 to get a wristband into the beer gardens for the whole weekend. Once a lovely Derailers roller derby girl, or loyal volunteers Ralph and Torino slap a wristband on, don’t take it off because that’s your ticket to the weekend entertainment action.
Five Alarm Funk kicks off the entertainment line up Friday night at 10:15 p.m. Saturday night, local favourites Maritime Kitchen Party are on the stage from 7– 9 p.m., and Delhi 2 Dublin, known as the “United Nations of rock ‘n’ roll” hit the stage at 10:15 p.m. to get you up on your feet dancing. Freeflow returns on Sunday night at 9:30 p.m. to bring you their reggae/rock/soul grooves to end off the line up of the weekend.
The Beer Gardens are open to the public so anyone can come down and check out the music, contests and activities. Even if you aren’t a ball fan, there are incredible performers lined up for the weekend. We have reserved 300 pre-tickets for locals to pick up ahead of time at the Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Information Centre here in Revelstoke if you want to guarantee your entry into the gardens for the entertainment line up. You can’t beat $10 for four stellar acts. Exchange your pre-ticket for a wristband at the gate and you’re in for the weekend!
StokeFM will also be adding to the entertainment, live on location, filling the day and early evening with good tunes and updates on the tournament action as well as throwing some great contests in the gardens throughout the day and evening.
So, Revelstoke, get ready for another great year of the Glacier Challenge Mixed Slow Pitch Tournament. See you down at Centennial Park to see some great ball action, grab some food from the vendors, cheer on local teams, meet new people, see entertaining live music and get involved in the spirit of the tournament that has been running strong for 26 years.
If you would like to get involved with the Glacier Challenge Committee in the future please see me (Amy Flexman), festivals & events coordinator at the Chamber of Commerce, or look for her around during the tournament. I would be glad to have you on board for the future!
Thanks to the Glacier Challenge Committee for putting on this amazing event for 26 years.
Amy Flexman is the event coordinator for Revelstoke Tourism and is helping organize the Glacier Challenge.