NHL fans are arguably the most loyal of sports fans, sticking with their favorite teams through good times and bad, saying goodbye to beloved players and hello to new ones. There are the fans who experience the highs of consistent great seasons and those whose teams can’t seem to catch a break.
Fans of the Columbus Blue Jackets know the latter all too well. But to show appreciation for those Blue Jackets fans who have been faithful to their team, there is CannonFest, a gathering held in hockey’s offseason in Columbus for the past three years.
Established in 2010 by Blue Jackets blogger Greg May, CannonFest gives fans the opportunity to share their love of the team with fellow followers. This year, May and two other bloggers, Matt Wagner and Tom Fellrath, organized the gathering at a restaurant that May owns in Grandview and were amazed that the RSVP list totaled beyond 300.
Aside from the camaraderie on Sunday, fans were able to sign up for autographed prizes, and Blue Jackets blogs such as The Cannon, Dark Blue Jacket and The Union Blue were represented as well as the two team fan clubs, the Jacket Backers and the Arch City Army. The highlight of the afternoon came in the form of two videos compiled by video producer Tom Larrow. The first, titled “Dark Horses”, was a highlight reel of the Blue Jackets’ season and featured the batch new players that were brought to the team in the offseason.
The second, “Who I Am”, was an ode to the fans and was the hit of CannonFest:
No matter what happens in the coming season, Blue Jackets fans will continue to stand behind their players. CannonFest gives those fans a chance to gather in the offseason and celebrate the team they love.