Former Vancouver Canucks Kirk MacLean and Brendan Morrison, along with host Tara Slone, were a few of the featured guests at the 2016 Rogers Hometown Hockey event in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Hometown Hockey returning to Abbotsford in December

Canadian hockey festival making a stop in the Fraser Valley

Rogers Hometown Hockey is coming back to Abbotsford in 2019.

The City of Abbotsford was announced as one of 25 communities across Canada on the national tour, with the date set for Dec. 15.

The event brings Sportsnet hosts Ron MacLean and Tara Slone, along with a festival atmosphere with live entertainment, NHL alumni, and hockey-themed activities, culminating with a live outdoor viewing party of an NHL broadcast from the Sportsnet Mobile Studio. The scheduled game for the viewing party is the Vancouver Canucks vs. the Vegas Golden Knights.

“On behalf of the City of Abbotsford, I’m extremely pleased that Rogers Hometown Hockey will be back for another year in our community,” stated Mayor Henry Braun in a press release. “The power of sport is something that our residents know well as numerous high profile events have been held in Abbotsford – from the BC Summer Games to the Western Canada Summer Games. I look forward to welcoming Tara and Ron and seeing everyone out to enjoy the fun of Canada’s favourite sport.”

This marks the second time that Abbotsford has hosted Rogers Hometown Hockey. The last visit occurred in 2016, and included a weekend outdoor hockey festival at Exhibition Park, activities and live music, and a visit from Canucks legend Kirk MacLean and Abbotsford-born Canucks forward Jake Virtanen.

The event also coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Abbotsford Minor Hockey Association, and the group plans to be involved in the festivities.

“As the AMHA celebrates its 50th anniversary season, we are honoured and thrilled that Abbotsford has been selected for Rogers Hometown Hockey,” stated AMHA president Kathy Doull. “Hockey is a big part of Abbotsford, and as the hockey season begins, the community grows and comes together. Hockey is so much more than a sport; it’s where friends are made, family traditions are born, and memories are created.”

Complete details for the Abbotsford stop are still being determined and are expected to be finalized in the coming weeks.

Other B.C. stops on the Hometown Hockey tour include: Prince Rupert (Dec. 8), Salmon Arm (March 8), North Vancouver (March 15) and Campbell River (March 22).

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