For Cory Marquardt, playing in front of North Bay music and hockey fans during the Hometown Hockey festivities this weekend will be a late birthday present for the North Bay native who just celebrated his 26th birthday.
The rising country music star is one part of a very busy weekend of festivities as Rogers Hometown Hockey comes to downtown North Bay this coming Saturday and Sunday.
“This is such a great event and I can't be more happy to be part of this,” said Marquardt in an email to BayToday.ca.
“I grew up in North Bay in a hockey family and was on skates by the age of 3 years old. I've played many games in all the rinks here but I have yet to play a bigger stage in my home town. To finally get that opportunity and have that tied in with hockey is a pretty cool feeling,” said Marquardt who got the call from his agent while on the "Kick It In The Pit” Canadian tour with country superstar Brantley Gilbert.
Marquardt’s hockey ties are pretty significant too.
His brother Matt is the last North Bay player to be drafted in the National Hockey League back in 2006 by the Columbus Blue Jackets and currently plays for the ECHL’s Florida Everblades.
Meantime, Cory Marquardt also made a number of junior hockey tour stops playing for the North Bay Skyhawks, Abitibi Eskimos, Temiscaming Royals, Elliot Lake Bobcats and even a short stint with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar of the QMJHL.
His last taste of competitive hockey was with the OUA’s RMC Paladins.
“Music and hockey have been a huge part of my family and life,” admitted Marquardt.
“To be able to really tie them together in one show is exciting and I'm looking forward to it.”
On Saturday afternoon The Neesh and Sea Perry will perform as part of the hometown hockey festivities at Discovery North Bay Museum.
Saturday afternoon will also include some fun with Paz’s Hockey Circus along with McDonald’s Trivia Challenge and the Playmobil On-Stage Giveaway.
On Sunday, the Hometown Hockey fun begins at 2:15 p.m. with live music from Carl Dixon. Paz’s Hockey Circus will take over at 3 p.m.
At 4:30 p.m. NHL Alumni Steve Larmer and former Centennial Nick Kypreos will host a Scotiabank HotStove from the broadcast stage.
The Dodge Family Face-off will take place at 6 p.m. and at 6:30 p.m. Marquardt will hit the stage.
At 6:30 p.m. fans will also have a chance to participate in an autograph session at the Rogers tent with Kypreos.
At 8 p.m. will be the “Cheer like Never Before” contest.