Opening event honours Fergus

ERIC BENDER -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:36 AM ET

Fergus has long been a hotbed of lacrosse -- so it's fitting and not surprising the Fergus Pipe Band will be part of the entertainment and welcoming ceremonies when more than 700 players are ushered into TD Waterhouse Stadium at the University of Western Ontario tonight.

"There are ex-lacrosse players in the band, so it's appropriate. They wanted to be part of it," said Tim Hobbs, an organizer of the world lacrosse championships opening ceremonies.

The opening event is free for spectators.

A Shriners band will lead the players and more than 500 tournament volunteers into the stadium at 7 p.m.

Former Canadian Idol contestant Aaron Walpole will sing the national anthem, followed by welcoming remarks from London Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco-Best, International Lacrosse Federation executive director Leighton Beamsly and Hobbs as tournament chairperson.

Radio personalities Steve Garrison and Pete James are masters of ceremonies. Another guest singer will be Alicia D'Ariano.

Entertainment will also come with a show devised by local musician and band leader Doug Varty, who'll have local performers do 20 internationally recognized Canadian songs in 20 minutes.

The athletes' oath will be read by Canadian player Gary Gait and Jeremy Hobbs of London, who is playing for Scotland.

After a salute to deceased players, there'll be a "blessing of the grounds" by the aboriginal Canadian contingent.

A special award will be presented to John Marr of Scotland, still participating in the tournament at age 67.

The opening ceremonies are being sponsored by Old Oak Properties of London.


Videos

Photos