The Canada Games flag has arrived in Charlottetown after a voyage from Ontario's Niagara region, where it last flew during the 2022 summer edition of the games.
This February, it will be Prince Edward Island's turn to hoist it as the province hosts the 2023 Canada Games.
"This is a momentous occasion for us," P.E.I. Canada Games co-chair Brian McFeely said at a dockside ceremony on Wednesday. "It is a milestone for our games. This means we're it."
His co-chair Wayne Carew agreed the finish line is in sight.
"We're down to 171 days, so we're really in a sprint now," he said. "We started out in a marathon and we're in the last few sprints to the finish line so that we can deliver an exciting games to make Prince Edward Island proud and to present it to all of Canada."
The flag arrived aboard HMCS Oriole, a tall ship that wended its way from Niagara through the St. Lawrence Seaway into the Gulf of St. Lawrence before veering south for Charlottetown.
Ringette athlete Mia Martell was at the summer games earlier in the month as well as on shore in Charlottetown Wednesday.
"I was at the closing ceremonies so I got to see the hand-off for the flag, and getting to see it arrive on P.E.I. was really exciting," she said.
Her teammate Andrea Caron echoed the sentiment.
"We still have lots of training to do but I think our team has come a long way in the short amount of time that we've had and I think once we get into the competition the excitement will just keep building from there."
P.E.I. Health and Wellness Minister Ernie Hudson said the flag's arrival evoked both pride and satisfaction.
"I'm sure when we get into the opening ceremonies coming up in February, it will be tenfold that," he said.
In the meantime, a lot of work lies ahead — including planning for a torch run through 18 communities as the Canada Games flame makes its way from Parliament Hill to Charlottetown in October.