The time has come.
The 85th Annual St. Peter's Fiesta sporting events begin today with the men's and women's seine boat elimination races at Pavilion Beach (5:00 p.m.).
There are plenty of intriguing story lines in each sport unique to St. Peter's Fiesta, seine boats and greasy pole, as there are two teams going for history and a number of hungry greasy pole walkers. Here's what to look out for this week.
Star studded lineup
Sunday's greasy pole competition continues to be the most compelling event of the week because the field of competitors is so stacked. Only past champions or proteges, those walking in the name of a past champion, are eligible to walk on Sunday meaning spectators should not blink after the consolation round.
The field isn't just littered with past multiple time champions, there are nearly a dozen walkers that could grab the flag at any moment. Six time champion Jake Wood and five time champion Stew McGillivray are looking to move up the all time ranks when it comes to flags won but there are plenty of other walkers on the pole who are just as big a threat to take down a flag that has not been elusive to this field.
After last year's Sunday competition, the field got even stronger as Ali D'Angelo, seen as the dark horse of last year's pole, emerged as yet another legitimate threat to make the 40 foot trek across the greased telephone pole.
Last year the Sunday Greasy Pole ended in the fourth round, that was an aberration, it will not take that long for somebody in the field to take the flag down this year and there are plenty of walkers that are due for a win after several near misses in the recent past.
Of course another member of the elite club of greasy pole winners will be added to the mix during Friday and Saturday's competitions as well. This is also the first year of competition with the new greasy pole platform after the old one collapsed during a fall Nor'Easter.
Three time defending senior seine boat champion Kaos is already in elite company as the fourth men's crew to complete the three peat. But in 2012 Kaos is looking to join even more elite company as a fourth straight win will tie them with Desire of the mid 1980's, who is the only crew to win four in a row.
Ever since the new fiber glass seine boats were introduced to the competition in 2009, Kaos hasn't just won, they have dominated the field with a strong blend of young talent and experience to go along with a coxswain that knows a thing or two about winning seine boat titles as Novello was the coxswain during Desire's run that started 30 years ago as was Kaos rower Tom Conrad.
It has become evident over the years that it's going to take a super crew to knock off Kaos. Word is that this year's field is deep, but does that mean the talent is too spread out to give Kaos a run for the title? We will soon find out.
Kaos isn't the only seine boat crew going for a four-peat, Oar'Dacious is also going for a fourth straight win in the Women's Division. To take it one step further a win for Oar'Dacious in Friday's final will give them six wins over the last seven years.
While it will take a super crew of men to knock off Kaos, it may take an even stronger crew to knock off Oar'Dacious, who has left its competition in the dust over the last three years.
In 2011 Oar'Dacious led from wire to wire picking up a boat on the competition as the crew hit the greasy pole on the way out. The rest of the women's field has a tall task ahead of it if anybody even wants to give Oar'Dacious a race. It may end up being too tall of a task, expect Oar'Dacious to cruise into the record books with a fourth straight win.