If you plan on driving through Ottawa's Glebe neighbourhood give yourself lots of extra time. On Saturday, October 5, Ottawa's Panda Game, an annual football rivalry between Carleton University and the University of Ottawa is taking place and the parties that accompany are expected to take over the streets.
The game, named for its Panda shaped trophy, Pedro The Panda, is a long-standing tradition between the two Ottawa schools. The first game was held in 1955. However, this year's Panda Game is expected to be the biggest one yet. Tickets have completely sold out this year and around 24,600 are expected to attend the game, which takes place at Ottawa's TD Place.
TD Place is located in the Glebe neighbourhood, which is why Ottawa Police have announced they will be heavily patrolling that area today but that isn't the only neighbourhood they are concerned about. The police will also be holding blitzes in the Old Ottawa South and Sandy Hill neighbourhoods, which are close to Carleton and UOttawa respectively.
Since Panda has become an all-day party event, police and by-law warned that they will be on the lookout for public intoxication, drinking, trespassing, and other offences before and after the game.
On their Twitter, Ottawa police also remind students and others attending the game to "celebrate responsibly and plan ahead for a safe ride home."
Police aren't the only ones sending warnings in the neighbourhood. Ahead of this year's game, students from Carleton have been giving residents in Old Ottawa South and the Glebe a different kind of notice.
They've been handing out brochures promising that teams of students will be on hand after the game to help clean up the streets and pick up any garbage that is left behind.
The game is set to start at noon today, with gates opening at 10:30 AM ET, meaning the Panda party is already well underway.