HANOVER, N.H. — The 59th annual Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl Game will take place at Dartmouth’s Memorial Field on Saturday, Aug. 4, at 2:30 p.m., returning to the venue after a three-year absence. The game, which has taken place on the field 48 times previously, will continue to be played in Hanover for each of the next two years as well. All of the net proceeds from the game will be donated to the three nearest Shrine hospitals in Montreal, Boston and Springfield, Mass.
Preceeding the game will be a parade through the streets of downtown Hanover at noon, featuring Shrine Units from throughout the Northeast region. Carolyn Campbell-McGovern, the Deputy Executive Director of the Ivy League and the key figure in working with the NCAA to ensure Dartmouth could host this event, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the parade.
Of the 30 Shrine Football games played every year across the country, the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl ranks third in terms of money raised for the Shriners Hospitals. The event, sponsored by the three Shrine Centers of New Hampshire and Vermont — Bektash (Concord, N.H.), Cairo (Rutland, Vt.) and Mt. Sinai (Montpelier, Vt.) — has raised over four million dollars since it was first played in Nashua in 1954.
Following a three-year term in Manchester, the game came to Memorial Field — considered a logical central location — in 1958 for nine years before one-year stops in Burlington, Vt., and Durham, N.H. For 37 years, between 1969 and 2005, Memorial Field served as the site of the game until the renovation of the east stands in 2006 forced the game to Plymouth, N.H. After two more years in Hanover, construction plans once again necessitated the move to an alternate site, this time in Windsor, Vt., where it has been played the past three years.
“We are pleased and proud to host the Shrine Bowl again, as we understand the importance of the event to the entire Twin States region,” remarked Harry Sheehy, Dartmouth’s Director of Athletics and Recreation. “We are grateful to the President’s Office for making it financially feasible for the game to return to Memorial Field and generate as much support as possible for Shriners Hospitals.”
Vermont and New Hampshire, the latter of which leads the all-time series 43-13-2, each select 36 of the top graduated high school senior football players from their respective states to square off on the gridiron every year since the game’s inception. More than 4,000 players have participated in the event, of which about two-thirds still live in the Twin States.