The 55-Plus BC Games have officially arrived in Abbotsford.
Athletes from across the province touched down in Abbotsford on Tuesday (Aug. 22), with the Games Village erected at Abbotsford Exhibition Park and participants receiving accreditation.
Competition officially opened on Wednesday (Aug. 23) with badminton, bocce, carpet bowling, cribbage, darts, equestrian, five-pin bowling, golf, floor curling, hockey, ice curling, pickleball, slo-pitch, snooker, soccer, table tennis, tennis and track and field on the schedule.
The opening ceremony occurred Wednesday night at Rotary Stadium, with performances by violinist Calvin Dyck and the Abbotsford Youth Orchestra, Chilliwack Harmony Chorus, Drumlines, the Legacy Dance Team, the Abbotsford Skipping Sensations and more.
Thursday (Aug. 24) sees 8-Ball, archery, cycling (time trial) and horseshoes beginning the competition.
Thursday is also the free City in the Country in the Park event at Mill Lake Park. Several art activations, food trucks and musical entertainers will be there from 6 to 9 p.m. Those attending are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs.
The cycling road race occurs on Friday (Aug. 25), with the participant dance and passing of the flag ceremony happening that evening inside the Ag-Rec Building. Abbotsford will pass the flag to representatives from Salmon Arm, who will host from Sept. 10 to 14, 2024.
The final day of competition takes place Saturday (Aug. 26), with many medals being handed out and the cycling (hill climb) event also occurring.
The event is expected to see 2,500 athletes compete in 23 sports. Abbotsford 2023 55-Plus BC Games president Mary Boonstra thanked locals for helping make the Games possible and encouraged the athletes to let it all out in Abbotsford.
“We have branded these Games ‘Dream It. Do It. Abbotsford 2023,’ ” she stated in the Games’ program guide.
“We believe that it is one thing to have something in your mind that excites you, and another to put it into action. We are so proud of you for taking your dream and making it a reality for yourself, by taking chances, by stepping outside your comfort zone and opening yourself up to new experiences. We cannot wait to celebrate your success alongside you.”
Abbotsford Mayor Ross Siemens welcomed all involved and said the community is excited to host.
“Our many volunteers are here to help you have an outstanding, memorable experience and we hope you will truly feel the warm community spirit and hospitality that Abbotsford is known for,” he said.
Visit abbynews.com for more coverage from the event.