Some may think of pro hockey’s Wayne Gretzky when hearing the words “The Great One,” but it’s also the theme of the 99th College Royal at the University of Guelph.
For the first time since 2019, the open house is fully in-person with just as much grandeur as the previous iterations.
Running March 18-19, College Royal features classic events including a square-dancing competition, dog show and livestock show. Favourites put on hold due to the pandemic, such as the Department of Food Science’s milkshakes and teddy bear surgery at the Ontario Veterinary College, are returning.
“We’re really excited to welcome the public back and run the event to its full extent,” said Megan Levesque, College Royal Society president. “It’s a Guelph tradition that lots of people have had, and then also maybe a new one for some, too.”
Display booths will feature U of G clubs and organizations such as Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE), Horticulture Club and Future Vets Club.
Booths will be judged on how well they meet this year’s theme, chosen in recognition of Wayne Gretzky. Founded in 1925, College Royal is in its 99th year. Gretzky’s jersey number, of course, was 99.
“This is the only year that we could use the theme of ‘The Great One.’ If next year is better, we can call it the ‘even greater one’,” said Levesque, hinting at the College Royal Society’s plans to make its 100th anniversary in 2024 a full renaissance of College Royals past.
College Royal is the largest student-run university open house in North America. In earlier years, the event has attracted up to 30,000 people. More event details can be found in the College Royal Open House booklet.
(And for those wondering, Wayne Gretzky will not be attending.)
President, College Royal Society
Vice-president of public relations, College Royal Society