Hamilton

Hamilton threw a wild Grey Cup party and the Montreal Alouettes ended up being guests of honour

It's been a wild Grey Cup week in Hamilton and visitors from across Canada will know one thing for sure — Hamilton knows how to throw a party.

The 110th Grey Cup kicked off in Hamilton at 6 p.m.

Hamilton throws a wild Grey Cup tailgate party featuring the Ticats drumline crew

5 months ago
Duration 1:56
Hamilton's Grey Cup tailgate party included CFL fans from across Canada and featured the Ticats UpRoar drumline crew.

It's been a wild Grey Cup week in Hamilton and visitors from across Canada will know one thing for sure — Hamilton knows how to throw a party.

Anne Lowry had the noisiest neighbour in the city, living steps away from Tim Hortons Field.

She loves it.

"You don't move to this neighbourhood without knowing this is going to happen," she said while holding her seven-month-old son as music and horns blared in the background.

A woman holds a baby wearing a tiger costume.
Anne Lowry says she loves living near Tim Hortons Field, especially during big events like the Grey Cup. (Cara Nickerson/CBC)

Trish Jacobs, a season ticket holder, says she's excited to feel the atmosphere and hear the fans roar.

"It's a big party and a great community event," she said.

Jonathon Noel and over 20 family members came from Montreal to watch the game and one particular player — his cousin, Alouettes defensive back Marc-Antoine Dequoy.

"He's worked hard all his life and we're all behind him," Noel said.

For the Bombers, Sunday night was their fourth consecutive title game.

Green Day rocked the halftime show

Green Day formed in 1986 in Berkeley, Calif. and has sold more than 75 million records worldwide and won five Grammys. The band was Inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. On Sunday Nov. 19, 2023 the band played the 110th Grey Cup in Hamilton.
Green Day formed in 1986 in Berkeley, Calif. and has sold more than 75 million records worldwide and won five Grammys. The band was Inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. On Sunday Nov. 19, 2023 the band played the 110th Grey Cup in Hamilton. (Robert Krbavac/CBC)

Green Day rocked the Grey Cup on Sunday with a powerful four-song mini-set complete with fireworks and audience participation.

After the players left Tim Hortons Field with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers leading the Montreal Alouettes 17-7 at the half, the stage was readied under the scoreboard in the north endzone.

"Can you hear me? This is Canada," said a voice from a darkened stage, with an F-Bomb thrown in for good measure.

Then the stage was lit and the band — singer-guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tre Cool plus two guitarists — opened with "The American Dream Is Killing Me," the first single from their upcoming January album "Saviors."

Then it was a diet of past hits with "Basket Case" and "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," during which Armstrong took a phone from a fan, holding it high to film as he sang.

"Get your lights up now. Are you ready," Armstrong then yelled as fans around the stadium lit up their phones.

After fireworks shot high in the dark, the band finished with "Holiday."

Fajardo named most valuable player

A man lifts a trophy as he screams in celebration. He's surrounded by teammates, all wearing a dark blue uniform and a white cap.
Quarterback Cody Fajardo hoists the Grey Cup following the Alouettes' come-from-behind 28-24 victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the 110th CFL championship on Sunday in Hamilton. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

Cody Fajardo was named the Grey Cup's most valuable player after leading the Montreal Alouettes to a 28-24 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The Alouettes quarterback threw 290 yards, three touchdowns and one interception on 21-for-26 completions to help Montreal win its first CFL title since 2010. It was Fajardo's first title as a starter.

The championship win was Montreal's eighth consecutive victory and included a 38-17 upset of the Toronto Argonauts in the East Division final on Nov. 11. Uguak had a tackle in that game and said that he was motivated by everyone who doubted the Alouettes.

"It feels great because a lot of people wrote us off from the beginning of the season," said Uguak, who joined the team midway through the season after he was drafted. "We stayed the course, we took the coaching every single week, we got better and now we're champions."

Grey Cup took over Hamilton last week

Diane Wensel, centre, rides Tuffy the horse with a young boy into the lobby of a hotel as the annual tradition kicks off Grey Cup festivities ahead of the 110th CFL Grey Cup between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Montreal Alouettes in Hamilton, Ont., on Thursday, November 16, 2023.
Diane Wensel, centre, rides Tuffy the horse with a young boy into the lobby of a hotel as the annual tradition kicks off Grey Cup festivities ahead of the 110th CFL Grey Cup between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Montreal Alouettes in Hamilton, Ont., on Thursday, November 16, 2023. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

Grey Cup festivities took over Hamilton in the days leading up to the game, with thousands of football fans coming in from  across Canada to watch.

Hamilton's Grey Cup celebrations included a holiday for high school and elementary students, a naval escort bringing the Grey Cup into town, a free breakfast for fans courtesy of the Calgary Grey Cup committee, as well as a beer garden, food trucks, inflatables, a Christmas market, giveaways, games and more.

Grey Cup events took over James Street North all week.

There was plenty of music alongside the football fun including the SiriusXM Kickoff Party with Hamilton rock band, The Dirty Nil and NOBRO, a new-age punk band from Montreal.

Other performances included Steve Strongman, HacheyTheMouthPEACE, The Hot Karls, and Matty Simpson Band.

On Thursday night, reggae legend Shaggy played the OLG stage in Niagara Falls and Carrie Underwood performed on Friday night at the FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton. 

The game was a sellout with 28,808 people in attendance. It marked the second time the Grey Cup game was played at Tim Hortons Field in three years. The contest was also held here in 2021, the year after the CFL resumed play after cancelling the 2020 season due to the global pandemic.

But in 2021, social-distancing protocols were in place. The CFL awarded Hamilton the 2023 contest to give its organizing committee a better opportunity to stage a full Grey Cup festival. 
A woman wears a sweatshirt that says "I just hope both teams have fun" while in attendance at the 100th Grey Cup in Hamilton. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers took on the Montreal Alouettes on Nov. 19, 2023.
Nancy Andrejciw from Hamilton wears a sweatshirt that says "I just hope both teams have fun" while in attendance at the 110th Grey Cup in Hamilton on Nov. 19, 2023. (Cara Nickerson/CBC)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cara Nickerson is a journalist with the CBC's Ontario local news stations, primarily CBC Hamilton. She previously worked with Hamilton Community News. Cara has a special interest in stories that focus on social issues and community.

With files from Bobby Hristova, Conrad Collaco and The Canadian Press

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