Coca-Cola Classic begins

Chantelle Deacon

Vernon's Civic Arena kicked off its final Coca-Cola Classic Peewee Hockey Tournament Thursday before the historic rink is demolished.

The top peewee teams from B.C., Alberta, Alaska, California, Montana, and Washington have arrived and are competing in one the most prestigious hockey tournaments in Canada.

"It's been a tournament that's been going on for a long time, lots of tradition and we're just enjoying the first day of the round robin today," said John Doorman,  Coca-Cola Classic director.

For thousands of Vernon residents the Civic holds many memories they won't soon forget.

"It's a little bit nostalgic for sure, lots of us on the committee have played in this tournament, on this very rink," Doorman said. "It hurts a little bit to know that we're never going to be able to do it again here but it's also a little bit exciting to see what the future holds for the tournament and hopefully we can keep it going in the new arena that's being built."

The prestigious 47th annual hockey tournament is one of Vernon Winter Carnivals oldest events.

"Come out and watch some hockey, it's really fun," Doorman said. "Support the teams, the more people we get here the more we can donate to charities."

Games will last throughout the day all weekend.

"It's really fun to watch and it's the last time you'll ever be able to watch this caliber of hockey in this rink."

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