UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) -- It's Comets frenzy in Utica!
Major preparations were underway Wednesday morning, setting up for the Fan Fest that will kick off the Utica Comets' home opener. The director said it's the biggest event in Utica this year.
Vendors' grills are already lit, ready to cook about 500 pounds of meat each in preparation for an influx of thousands of hungry Comets fans.
There will be pizza, burgers, chicken riggies, popcorn, pretzels and plenty of beer.
The stage is being set for performances by Night Ranger and Showtime. It's a family fun event with bouncy houses, clowns and jugglers. Plus, some of the players will be around for an autograph session.
After two decades without an AHL hockey team, there's no better reason for a big celebration.
"I think everyone is just really excited about having a brand-new home team to support," said Pam Levine, director of the Fan Fest. "I think it's great for Utica. It just brings everyone together. So how often does a city get a brand new sports team? It doesn't really happen all that often. It's a pretty big deal."
If you didn't get a ticket to the sold-out game, you can head straight from the Fan Fest to the back of the Aud, where there will be a 20-foot screen with a live broadcast of the game. It's the only place the game will be broadcast, so make sure to bundle up and come cheer on the Comets.