The NHL All-Star game weekend has officially begun in Nashville, and it started with fan fair and an opening ceremony Thursday night.
It is the first time the city has hosted the event which will bring hockey fans from across the country to Music City and an estimated $20 million to the local economy.
City leaders, sports officials and local organizations spent 14 months planning the event that they hope is the biggest and best NHL All-Star game ever.
“We’ve tried to blend the best of Nashville, the best of hockey and put a hospitality spin on it that puts us over the top,” said Scott Ramsey, President of the Nashville Sports Council.
Festivities officially kicked off with an opening ceremony outside Bridgestone Arena. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Mayor Megan Barry addressed the crowd before Big & Rich performed for fans.
Fans also enjoyed outdoor activities ranging from making s’mores to ice skating at Winter Park outside Bridgestone Arena.
At the Music City Center, fans of all ages participated in NHL Fan Fair. They had the chance to show off their hockey skills in a series of interactive exhibits and even pose for pictures with the Stanley Cup.
Tickets to Fan Fair are $20 for adults, $15 for children ages 3 to 12, seniors 65 and older, college students and military personnel with valid ID.
Fan Fair will be open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Winter Park will remain open through Sunday. A series of concerts will also be held throughout the weekend including performances by Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Chris Young and more.
The NHL All-Star Skills Competition will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday at Bridgestone Arena. The NHL All-Star game will be played Sunday at 4 p.m. inside Bridgestone Arena. The game is sold out and will be broadcast internationally.