hometownhockey-fullBy Paulette Peirol

Rogers Hometown Hockey will be shining a national spotlight on Owen Sound this weekend, primarily as a hockey town but also as a scenic city on Georgian Bay with a rich history, great civic pride, a picturesque downtown and friendly people, all of which could be a boon to our tourism industry.

The Hometown Hockey crew are heading to local attractions such as Inglis Falls, the Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Bishop House museum (a national historic site) and the Festival of Northern Lights, gathering footage for a special broadcast to kick off this Sunday's NHL game between Ottawa and Tampa Bay. This afternoon, Owen Sound Flight Services flew them over the city for a bird's eye view.

You can see the coverage at 6:30 pm Sunday on City TV.

Or better yet, come to the Bayshore Community Centre, where on-air personality Ron MacLean will be hosting the NHL game live from the arena parking lot. Hundreds of people are expected to turn out, excited about the chance to meet MacLean, be part of the broadcast and show Owen Sound's pride of place and passion for hockey.

"Be in the crowd, show up and show your hockey spirit," said Travis Formosa, a Hometown Hockey producer from Toronto who was in town shooting today. He said he found Owen Sounders to be "super friendly" and enjoyed our "picturesque downtown." He was looking forward to touring the Festival of Northern Lights this evening.

Formosa said he was very impressed with how well our OHL team, the Owen Sound Attack, consistently draws in crowds. "It's amazing in this part of the province. For a smaller OHL town, it's a very well supported team."

The Attack will be playing Guelph on home ice Sunday, during the Hometown Hockey broadcast. Team manager Brent Fisher expects the game to be sold out. "Come early and catch the excitement," he advised fans.

In hockey terms, we're the "little town that could" – first saving our team (formerly the Platers) when it was almost sold in 2000, and then going on to win the OHL championship in 2011. Helen Lewis, who was involved in saving the team and present at the championship game in Mississauga, told Rogers the bus travelled "real slow on the trip back, like it was a parade. For 100 kilometres people came out to the side of the highway and I waved like the Queen."

This Sunday's live broadcast will be another chance for Owen Sounders to wave proudly at the hockey fans watching us from coast to coast. It's our chance to shine in the national spotlight, simply for being ourselves.

Paulette Peirol is Tourism Co-ordinator for the City of Owen Sound.