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Airdrie hosting the Alberta Winter Games

Last Updated Feb 13, 2020 at 11:16 am MST

Volunteers hold up a sign for the 2020 Alberta Winter Games during the Santa Claus Parade in Airdrie on Dec. 8, 2019. (CREDIT: Airdrie Alberta Winter Games 2020, Facebook)

AIRDRIE (660 NEWS) – Thousands of athletes, coaches and fans will flock to Airdrie this weekend.

The city is hosting the 2020 Alberta Winter Games, which kick off with the opening ceremonies Friday night in front of Airdrie City Hall.

This isn’t the first time the community has welcomed the province, having hosted the 2009 Alberta Seniors Games and the 2014 Alberta Winter Games.

“We’ll probably welcome a lot more sports and opportunities to Airdrie knowing we can pull off these big events,” said Shauna Quinn, Chair of the Board of Directors for the Winter Games.

Hundreds of hours have already been put into preparing and promoting the games with some help from those outside the city.

“We have a lot of people from Calgary who have stepped up to volunteer,” said Quinn. “When we look at our social media, we see it’s 50 per cent Airdrie and 50 per cent Calgary, Edmonton and area. We know people are engaged.”

Hundreds of events will take place across 15 venues in Airdrie, Calgary, Canmore and Rocky View County.

Athletes will compete in dozens of sports including skiing, ringette, ice hockey, wrestling, futsal and fencing.

Not only will the games be a huge benefit to those participating but Quinn said it will give a huge boost to Airdrie’s economy.

“We are estimating $1.4 million (in) visitor spending, whether it’s hotels, restaurants, fuel, groceries, coffee, merchandise, shopping and amenities or visiting some of our attraction.”

Quinn adds the total output including visitor spending and what the host society has put into the event could reach over $4.1 million.

The opening ceremonies for the 2020 Alberta Winter Games begin at 7 p.m. Friday, with the final events set for Monday night.