For the sixth time since the inaugural Canadian men’s curling championship in 1927, Halifax is getting ready to host the Brier.

Round robin play at the Tim Hortons Brier begins tomorrow with the final a week from Sunday.

The big attraction Friday was the presence of the Kevin Martin rink, gold medalists in the just completed Vancouver Olympics.

“Well I want to see him and his team and the gold medals and I’ve been a curling fan for like 25 years,” says one fan.

Several hundred fans lined up over the noon hour today for a chance to get autographs from Kevin Martin and his gold medal winning teammates.

“He’s awesome, he’s the master,” said another fan. “He put in quite a performance at the Olympics.”

Kevin Martin, fresh off his big win, is still pretty excited.  

“It was amazing actually,” says Martin. “You work so hard for it for so long and to finally get it done is was really nice.”

Martin’s Alberta rink is not participating in the Brier because the provincial play-downs were too close in timing with the Olympics. Kevin Koe will represent the province, meaning for the first time in 11 years, Alberta is sending a rink skipped by someone other than Martin or Randy Ferbey.

Twelve teams are here for the competition and some 160,000 people are expected to attend the draws.

Nova Scotia’s Ian Fitzner-Leblanc rink from Halifax’s Mayflower Curling Club plays New Brunswick at 3 p.m. Saturday to open tournament play.