City of Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer accepts a Red Deer Rebels jersey from Rebels senior vice-president Merrick Sutter. In council chambers Wednesday

City of Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer accepts a Red Deer Rebels jersey from Rebels senior vice-president Merrick Sutter. In council chambers Wednesday

Mayor declares May 23-27 Rebels Week

Red Deerians are Rebels for a week.

Red Deerians are Rebels for a week.

Mayor Tara Veer donned a personalized Red Deer Rebels jersey and made it official at City Hall on Wednesday morning declaring May 23-27 Rebels Week.

In keeping with the historic nature of the city’s role as MasterCard Memorial Cups hosts, the proclamation was a first.

“This is the first time we’ve issued a proclamation for a sports team,” said Veer, who was joined by Rebels senior vice-president Merrick Sutter.

“With an event of this national and international magnitude, the Red Deer Rebels are such a source of community pride and we cannot underestimate what this opportunity means for the people of our community.”

Veer said the city has a “strong, proud history of sporting excellence” both provincially and nationally.

The community is expected to welcome thousands for the Memorial Cup, which officially kicks off at 11:30 a.m. today Thursday when the trophy will be brought into town by military helicopter. The arrival will be followed by a parade honouring Canada’s veterans, for whom the Memorial Cup was originally dedicated.

Sutter sees Rebels Week as an “official way to welcome people and encourage fans to show their colours and support the team.

“I think it’s just kind of an indication of the general vibe in the city right now,” he said.

“You can’t go very far without hearing conversations about the event.”

Veer encouraged Red Deerians to show off their pride in their community to visitors and take part in the many events planned around the games.

Everyone is encouraged to don their Rebels gear on Fridays to show their support.

In honour of veterans, the Memorial Cup will be touring area Royal Canadian Legions.

It can be seen at:

l Friday, Red Deer Legion, 2810 Bremner Ave., 1-3 p.m.

l Saturday, Innisfail Legion, 5108 49th Ave., 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

l Saturday, Lacombe Legion, 5138 49th St., 3-4:30 p.m.

l Tuesday, Olds Legion, 5241 46th St., 1-3 p.m.