INTERNATIONAL hockey stars and a German beer fest will feature in the official opening of the new synthetic hockey fields in Grafton on Saturday, February 5.
Olympic gold medal winning hockey stars Brent Livermore and Michael McCann will play in exhibition matches for New South Wales against Queensland on Saturday and Sunday, and the hockey will be topped off with a German beer fest at the Barn in the Grafton Showground on the Saturday night.
Grafton Hockey Association president Bruce Carle said it would be one of the last chances for Clarence Valley fans of Livermore to catch up with their star as he would be heading to Holland 'pretty much straight afterwards' to play with his Dutch club.
He will return to play in the finals of the Australian National League.
The action will start at noon with a mother/daughter game, followed by a father/son game, then it will be Brent Livermore playing with and offering advice to primary school aged hockey players.
From 2:15pm the Grafton women's team will play the Far North Coast team.
This will be followed by the official opening and naming of the fields. The new synthetic surface is to be officially named the Brent Livermore Field and the sand-based field will be named Legends Field.
It is hoped that up and coming Grafton country music performer and finalist in the Telstra Road to Tamworth competition, Mollie McClymont, will perform during the opening ceremony.
The Grafton men's team will then play Dubbo before Australian Hockey Limited teams start their warm up at 5:20pm for a 6pm start to the game.
From there activities move to the Barn for the start of the over-18 German beerfest.
Mr Carle said a German oompah band would travel from Brisbane for the night 'at great expense'.
It will feature German and Festhaus music, cow bell ringing and - more prominently - the chicken dance.
"That might come fairly late in the night," Mr Carle said.
"We will be trying to raffle off a few interesting things and make it a really fun night.
"The band also wants to do a few things during their performance, but they will be kept under wraps."
Mr Carle said mothers and daughters interested in playing during the day should contact Helen Perring on 66440097. Fathers and sons should contact Neville Connors on 66449513.
Women interested in playing for Grafton against Far North Coast should contact Jane Woolfe on 66422003. Men interested in playing against Dubbo should contact David Dart on 0427440808.
Anyone with old photos that could be useful for display should contact Irwin Perring on 66440097. For ore information go to www.graftonhockey.org.au.