Organizers Sandra Greer and Barb Gruber are getting ready for Homecoming 2015.

Organizers Sandra Greer and Barb Gruber are getting ready for Homecoming 2015.

Organizers preparing for Prince Rupert Homecoming 2015

There will be a lot of familiar faces in the community this May as a flock of former Rupertites returnfor Prince Rupert Homecoming 2015.

There will be a lot of familiar faces in the community this May as a flock of former Rupertites return to the North Coast for Prince Rupert Homecoming 2015.

The Homecoming 2015 Committee, led by main organizers Heather Basso, Sandra Greer and Barb Gruber, is currently in the process of finalizing plans for the event set to take place May 14 to 18.

“It’s a fun event with people that you may have not seen in a long time. It’s probably the most hug-filled, friendly event that could happen,” Gruber said.

Organized every five years, Prince Rupert Homecomings have proved to be a popular community event.

“In 2010 we actually had to stop registration. We can only fit in 2,000 people,” Gruber said.

“In 2005 [we saw the least amount of people attend]. I think we had about 1,700 people, but every other one has been around 2,000,” added Greer.

People from all over the country have already registered for this year’s event.

“Rupert people just love coming back. It blows my mind,” said Gruber, noting people have came from Hong Kong and Australia in past years.

Homecoming 2015 will kick-off on Thursday, May 14, with the hospitality room at the Highliner Plaza Inn opening at 2 p.m. for registration and visiting and remaining open until 9 p.m. The hospitality room will be open every day during Homecoming 2015.

“People can just come and sit and have a cup of coffee … and just visit. A lot of people go there to see who came and to meet up with friends,” Gruber said.

On May 15 there will be socializing at the wine and cheese gathering at the North Coast Convention Centre. The gathering is free to attend, but drinks will cost money.

Later that night there will be a pub crawl for those in the partying mood — a popular activity in past Homecoming events. Registration for the pub crawl is underway and a shuttle bus will be

provided.

On May 16 and 17 there will be free wagon rides between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., departing from the Highliner Plaza Inn.

The Homecoming Gala Banquet and Dance will take place in the evening of Saturday, May 16, with doors opening at 5 p.m. and dinner being served at 7 p.m.

Sunday’s activities will start off with a pancake breakfast, followed by a car rally leaving the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre at noon, the first-ever to be included in a Prince Rupert Homecoming.

Later that afternoon there will be a golf tournament taking place, another popular activity at past events. There will be additional fees on top of registration to take part in the tournament.

Wrapping up the fun on May 17 will be a musical performance at the Lester Centre of the Arts, organized by Peter Witherly and Crystal Lorette.

“It’s a musical revue through the decades of Broadway shows. It’s different every five years,” said Gruber, noting the show will start at 2 p.m.

On the final day of Homecoming 2015, Rupertites will meet up in the hospitality room one last time to say their farewells between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Prince Rupert residents can pick up registration forms at the Special Events office under City Hall, located beside the fountain, on Saturdays between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Out-of-town guests can contact the committee by calling 250-624-8338 or emailing prhomecoming2015@citywest.ca for registration forms, or go to prhomecoming.ca or the Prince Rupert Homecoming 2015 Facebook page.

Additionally, the committee is looking for volunteers to assist with a variety of tasks to help the event run smoothly. Anyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to call 250-624-8338.

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