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Island Storm players help ring in New Year

Island Storm forward Trenity Burdine meets siblings, from left, Allie, Blake, Cooper and Skylar Fairhurst during the team’s family-friendly tailgate party Sunday afternoon. The team partnered with the City of Charlottetown to organize the indoors New Year’s Eve celebration after the cancellation of an outdoor party and fireworks due to the chilly temperatures.
Island Storm forward Trenity Burdine meets siblings, from left, Allie, Blake, Cooper and Skylar Fairhurst during the team’s family-friendly tailgate party Sunday afternoon. The team partnered with the City of Charlottetown to organize the indoors New Year’s Eve celebration after the cancellation of an outdoor party and fireworks due to the chilly temperatures. - Mitch MacDonald

Freezing temperatures didn’t keep Islanders from partying up a storm on New Year’s Eve.
A large crowd attended the Island Storm’s family tailgate party Sunday afternoon, which was organized following the cancellation of the city’s planned outdoor celebration.
After the cancellation was announced on Thursday, the basketball team quickly stepped up and partnered with the city to organize a tailgate party prior to a matinee game against the Halifax Hurricanes.
Storm forward Trenity Burdine, who was handing out hotdogs throughout the tailgate party, said the event was a great way to give back to the community.
“They’re the ones who support us and come to our games, doing something like this brings a lot of them together,” said Burdine. “With Charlottetown cancelling the Victoria Park event, I think it was just a great opportunity for us to give back.”
The City of Charlottetown announced on Thursday that the usual outdoor celebration and New Year’s Eve fireworks were cancelled because of forecasted low temperatures and winds. Temperatures were expected to reach -25 C with wind chill.
Storm Vice President Brett Poirier noted the city’s New Year’s Eve celebration is usually attended by thousands of Islanders every year.
“It was clear city staff were disappointed to make Thursday’s announcement, but we’re thrilled they were so eager to find an alternative way to provide a day of fun to many residents,”  said Poirier.
The tailgate party also saw bouncy castles set up for kids, while anyone who bought an adult or senior ticket for the game received a free youth ticket.
For the MacLean family, which included siblings Sarah, Matthew and Natalie, the excitement before the game was a welcome celebration.
“It is (a good New Years),”  said Natalie, with the family planning to ring in 2018 later that evening with some Chinese food.
Apart from providing Islanders with some indoor entertainment, the day may have also made some new Storm fans.
The event saw a mix of loyal season ticket holders as well as some new faces.
“You got the ticket holders that are here every single game and the little kids who come to see every single game but I’ve seen a lot of new faces also,” said Burdine.

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