BY IAN MCBRIDE
Kitchener residents had a new hockey team in town to cheer for, at least for one day, when the Leaf Drop Road Trip paid a visit.
The event took place prior to the Rangers’ Oct. 10 home game at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.
Launched by the Toronto Maple Leafs to build excitement for their 2014-2015 season, and give fans unprecedented access to the Maple Leafs, the Leaf Drop featured a giant 12×12-foot Maple Leaf. It travelled to hockey communities across Ontario Oct. 1 to 11 to interact with Leafs Nation.
Fans who participated won prizes by showing their passion for the Maple Leafs.
People of all ages stepped up to the giant Leaf that had a video camera, which captured their noise and movement to determine their level of Leafs spirit. The more noise they made, the better the prize was.
Prizes included one of 50 pairs of Leafs tickets, Leafs jerseys, Marlies tickets, official game pucks, lanyards, clappers, postcards and more.
Some participants expressed their creativity when making noise and movement in front of the video camera. There was one middle-aged man who threw a pie (consisting of either whipped cream or shaving cream) in his own face as he made loud noises, and in another instance a young adult male played an acoustic guitar.
A couple of fans from Kitchener, Derek Christoff, 27, and Darren Pyper, 25, expressed their feelings about the Leafs and the event.
“I think it was a great way for Leaf fans to show their passion and win prizes,” Christoff said.
“The Leafs should run this event every year,” Pyper added.