Sunday would have been the Labour Day Classic against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, but the pandemic had different plans.
Instead of a football game, the Saskatchewan Roughriders invited fans out to the Mosaic Stadium parking lot for a public health-approved drive-thru experience.
Sept. 6 was also declared Saskatchewan Roughrider Day by the Province of Saskatchewan, kicking off the club’s 110th anniversary.
“When people think of Saskatchewan, one of the first things they think of is the Roughriders,” said Premier Scott Moe in a news release. “The Riders have brought our province together for the last 110 years and I know that will continue for the next 110 years.”
The event on Sunday was bittersweet because it was meant to be a fun celebration, but the lack of the Labour Day Classic was sad, said Miriam Johnson, director of marketing for the Roughriders.
“I think that they missed football before, but this day in particular … the level of the nostalgia of what this day has been for them as a province and as a fanbase has been tremendous,” Johnson said.
The drive-thru event included prizes and giveaways, and appearances from Rider alumni, Gainer the Gopher and the Rider Cheer Team.
The event was free, but tickets were limited to 600, and all the tickets sold out. The event allowed 200 cars per hour to roll through, from 1 to 4 p.m.
There are also online celebrations planned for anyone who didn’t snag a ticket to the event. Fans can find out about the giveaways and performances on the Roughriders’ social media channels.
For now, Rider fans will need to cross their fingers that the Labour Day Classic will be back again next year.
“Next year, I am hopeful we will celebrate Labour Day like we always do – by beating the Winnipeg Blue Bombers,” said Roughriders President and CEO Craig Reynolds in a release.