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Fun at the 2011 FestiFan

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

MONTREAL – Whoever said pitching in for a good cause couldn’t also be fun?

Youppi! and Ronald McDonald were part of the event too.

Definitely not the thousands of people who made it out to the Bell Centre Sunday afternoon for the second edition of FestiFan.

Inflatable rides, skill-testing games, tours of the Canadiens’ locker room, meet and greet with Habs alumni and a slew of other activities were on hand for fans of all ages to enjoy.

"It's great to see so many kids here as well as a lot of other people who maybe don't get the chance to make it out to games. I grew up in Montreal and at that time, there was never anything like this. If I ever saw a player from the Canadiens on the street, I'd be talking about it for the next two months," said Mathieu Darche, on his way to sign some more autographs for fans. "We're all still pretty much like big kids ourselves. I almost tried to come in early today so I could get a chance to bounce around in the inflatable games."

A few folks in attendance even got the chance to square off with current members of the Canadiens thanks to the “Hockey Challenge” where kids were offered a shot at going up against their favorite players. A true family event, FestiFan provided a venue where hockey fans young and old could come together for a day of fun.

A “Behind the scenes/NHL Trophies” pass gave fans the chance to admire hockey’s greatest trophies – including the Stanley Cup – from up close and a few former-Habs including Jacques Demers, Guy Carbonneau and Réjean Houle were also in attendance at the event.

"An event like this gives people a chance to get a little bit closer to the team," explained Réjean Houle, who was on hand to meet fans near the Art Ross and Hart trophies. "Parents bring their kids and explain to them the history behind all the different trophies and the history behind the team too. I really glad that we get to enjoy days like this one."

Down at ice level, kids were invited to enjoy themselves playing in the multiple inflatable rides, or to feel like a real NHLer by taking a seat on the Canadiens’ bench.

Profits from FestiFan were donated to the Canadiens’ Children’s Foundation and Ronald McDonald Houses, with the goal of helping underprivileged children around the province.

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