Gretzky visit: other things may develop out of it developments

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

No major changes in the Ice Breaker hockey game and banquet to report, says Shawn Gramlich. Wayne Gretzky is still the chief attraction.
The cast of lesser characters will likely change a bit before the Aug. 26 date, but that always happens.
“McSorley, Semenko, Louie DeBrusk; Owen Nolan is coming again. And that country singer, Gord Bamford. He actually got in touch with me,” Gramlich says.
He wasn’t the only one. When news got out a few months ago that Gretzky would be attending the event in Slave Lake, Gramlich’s phone started ringing off the hook. Another eager participant is an outfit called Warrior Hockey, which is providing a heck of a deal on equipment for the Ice Breaker game.
Yes, things happen when the name Gretzky is attached. Here’s another one: the Gretzky Fantasy Camp ended this year, Gramlich says. Some of the big wheels involved in that plan on attending the Ice Breaker in Slave Lake. There’s talk – just talk at this point, mind you – of reviving it in Slave Lake, in conjunction with the Ice Breaker. Not this year, but maybe next. It would depend on a lot of things, Gramlich says, but if these folks are impressed by Slave Lake, by how the Ice Breaker is run…. Then maybe.
“Hockey, fishing, golf, quadding. They might like that. It could grow into a week-long festival.”
Getting back to this year’s event, Gretzky is booked for a day only, which includes the 2:00 p.m. game and the 6:00 p.m. dinner.
Gramlich says 60 tables have been sold, which is more than ever, but there are still plenty available. Tony Giesbrecht is the caterer. Tickets to the game only aren’t on sale yet, but they might be. Gramlich says he wants to wait until August for that. There have been quite a few requests for those, he says.
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