The wildly popular annual event was originally scheduled to take place on Saturday, Feb. 5 but with rising COVID-19 cases both in Moose Jaw and all over the province, the local charity decided to push back the date to the first weekend of April.
As a result, the Sports Celebrity Banquet will now take place on Saturday, Apr. 2 at the Heritage Inn.
“We decided that with the current situation and with everything that going on, that it made the most sense to push things back,” said Banquet chairman Scott Paquin.
“We want to make sure that it’s a great event and it goes off well and everybody is excited about it. With the way things are going with the numbers climbing a little more nuts than they have, putting it off by a couple of months will probably see us in a better place.”
The Kinsmen met with officials from the Heritage Inn earlier this month in order to plan out the event, which traditionally sees more than 400 patrons take in the evening of entertainment. Naturally, that kind of a crowd indoors in the middle of a pandemic wave is less than ideal, leading to the current decision.
Fans will have a chance to check out a dynamic crew of celebrities, too.
The Kinsmen have lined up former NHL standouts Shane Corson and Darcy Tucker along with Blue Jays reliever Jordan Romano and former NFL kicker Mike Vanderjagt as their celebrities for 2022.
Romano might be the only question mark, as pitchers and catchers are slated to report to MLB spring training on Feb. 14.
“But with the (MLB) lockout, we don’t actually know if he’ll be available or not,” Paquin said. “So with that being said, we have some other options we’re exploring right now and will update once we know what’s happening.”
All other aspects of the evening -- including the live and silent auctions featuring a host of unique items from the worlds of sports and entertainment -- are expected to be a go.
“That’s the plan, the Heritage is onside and everyone else we contacted is totally fine and they understand what’s going on,” said Paquin. “They have open calendars for those dates and we’ll be able to still have things mostly the same, which is awesome.”
The Kinsmen are currently in the process of confirming their corporate sponsors for the new date, and once that’s completed, tickets will officially go on sale.
If things change in the meantime -- specifically, the pandemic continues or worsens -- alternate dates further in the future might be considered.
“This just gives us a little breathing room, which is why we want to do it, and if we have to change our decisions, we’ll take a look at what we have to do,” Paquin said. “We want to find a way to give everyone a fun night of entertainment, but we want to make sure it’s safe for everyone involved.”