The Saskatchewan Roughriders are not holding another Riderville contest this year, but the Estevan Lives Rider Pride committee is again hosting fundraising events.
This year, the goal is to raise as much money as possible to help Estevan’s football programs in the aftermath of flooding.
“It’s not only going to cost a lot of money to fix the main playing field, but in the meantime, games will have to be played at an alternate facility,” said committee chairperson Alf Tide.
Temporary facilities need to be installed at the high school soccer field, where games will be played, including expensive goalposts.
“Who knows if we’ll ever get a game field back? A lot of people are (squeamish) about putting anything by the river now.”
It’s expected to be at least two years before Dana Quewezance Memorial Field, which is used for football and soccer, is restored to a playable state.
Rider Pride Week begins Friday with a kick-off cabaret at the Estevan Curling Club.
The event runs from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Entertainment will be provided by Garnett and the Classics, a local band which decided to donate half its fee to the cause.
Tide said he hopes the cabaret can replicate last year’s fundraising success.
“Hopefully we pack the curling rink and raise the kind of money we raised last year.”
The committee plans to have a large presence at the Estevan Drag Racing Association season finale on Sunday as well as Estevan Motor Speedway’s Championship Night next Wednesday.
A pair of Rider tickets will be up for grabs at the Speedway and tattoos and other paraphernalia will be handed out.
“We’ll rally some of the Rider Nation out there and get them dressed in green and hopefully we can pack the Motor Speedway,” Tide said.
The celebrations will coincide with the Kraft Celebration Tour stop next Thursday and the committee will run the free barbecue and the donation box for the Salvation Army.
“We didn’t plan that. I almost think there was a higher power involved because we planned it around the fact that it was a Rider bye week and Regina Minor Football had arranged for all the Regina teams to come down and play in Estevan (on Aug. 27),” Tide said.
All three minor football squads will be in action that day, preceded by a pancake breakfast at the Tower Cafe which will officially end the week.
“It’s a great way to end it because that’s what we’re doing it for, the kids in football,” Tide said.
“Football’s a great sport, it teaches the kids discipline and keeps them from doing things they shouldn’t be doing.”