Big (Sports) Day Downtown!
So I was honoured to be chosen to participate in this year’s installment of the Downtown Halifax Busniess Commission’s Big Day Downtown. I had just gotten my blog off the ground last year when they held this promotion, so I wasn’t necessarily ready to take part.
Now one year later, with the new name installed, Highly Touted was ready.
I wanted to follow this years’s theme, which was “Try Something New“, but also keep my day relevant to the nature of the blog, aka sports. I thought long and hard about how I could accomplish that and have some cool experiences along the way.
It was a bit of challenge at first. There are not a lot of traditional sporting stores in the downtown area. There are the outdoor adventure shops like MEC and TAO, and other monosylabllic places. But while I enjoy those activities from time-to-time, I am more of a hockey-baseball-basketball-football sports guy.
It bus-ride inspiration that sparked my imiagination of how to pull off my Big Day Downtown.
I had been wanting to get a new pair of kicks for a while now. I have a good pair for running and sports and such, but have had glaring need for something a little more stylish. One day, while taking the bus to work, traffic stopped on Barrington giving me a view of the front window of Renaissance Clothing Co. What stares me right in the face? A wide selection of colourful Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars.
So now I know where I was going to have first new experience on my Big Day Downtown, but to incorporate the sports part, I had a plan that required a little timing.
Aside from the creation of the Highly Touted blog, the next big thing to happen in the Halifax sports realm in recent history was the additon of Cole Harbour native, and uber-prospect Nathan MacKinnon to the Halifax Mooseheads. MacKinnon was set to make his home debut at the Metro Centre on September 16th. This seemed like a stroke of fate.
The actual shopping aspect of my Big Day Downtown, was not actually a whole day. More like an hour and a half. I had done some earlier reconnaisance, such as my serendipitous bus trip and a couple forays on my lunch.
After work on the day of the Moosheads home opener, I went home after work, and then quickly returned downtown to get my shop on. I briefly toyed with the idea of taking the Downtown Business Commission’s money and putting it all on red at the Casino roulette wheel. But time was short, and I had a good idea of how to spend.
I hit Renaissance first. I had been in earlier and knew what type of selection they had onhand. Let’s see…High tops or low tops? Classic black, a new colour, or something a little different? After some help from the great staff there, I went with a set of Dress Blue low-tops. Although it cost a little more then some they had, I couldn’t resist the new drak blue colour. Fresh colour is awesome.
So now time was running short before puck drop. I raced back over to the Metro Centre where Antlers (Mooseheads merchandising shop) was packed with people getting last minute memorabilia. To me the choice was clear. New local star in the lineup, to add to the fact I had been running around, I needed something to new wear. With the last bit of my Big Day Downtown money I got a MacKinnon #22 T-shirt.
I changed in the washroom and made it into the arena for the team introduction. The game was the cherry on top of this day. The Moose played an exciting game led by MacKinnon with four points. The team ended up winning in overtime, which longtime fans may also feel is a new experience downtown, but may happen a bit more often now.
Thanks to the Halifax Downtown Business Commission for the opportunity to do this. Thanks to the friendly staff at both the Renaissance Clothin Co. and Antlers for all the help. And thanks to the Halifax Mooseheads for giving me and the rest of the city and exciting and entertaining product on the ice.
I look forward to doing this again next year if I am so lucky.