Before they can see NHL stars take to the ice at Scotiabank Place this weekend, fans can get the full hockey experience at the Ottawa Convention Centre with the NHL Fan Fair.

NHL All-Star weekend officially begins when a trophy parade that includes the Stanley Cup enters the convention centre at 3 p.m. Thursday.

After that, the three levels of displays, activities and shops will be open to the public.

"We've put all of hockey into one building and we want you to come down and see it," said Kyle McCann, the NHL's vice-president of integrated marketing. "This is a great opportunity for fans to get a sneak peak inside the NHL from the moment they step inside."

There will be presses ready to customize jerseys, trading cards and pins, all the latest gear to try on and chances to test your hockey skills.

Peter Ing of Fan-tastic Sports said he'll be running a target shooting competition all weekend.

"They can rank themselves whether it's male, female, by age," he said. "The fun part of it is they can see how they did against the pros."

There's even a surprise entrance that CTV Ottawa wasn't allowed into.

"With Fan Fair we bring them into a holding room to really wow them as a starting point to their experience," McCann said. "We think this year will be no exception."

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door, with the Fan Fair being open until 10 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

As for the trophy parade that starts it all off, the National Capital Commission said Wednesday they hope to be able to flood the Rideau Canal overnight and have it open for the skate to the Convention Centre.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Karen Soloman