The Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade is magic
Now, I'm not a mind reader here. And I am certainly not a genius when it comes to this whole parenting thing.
But I will tell you this: kids love a parade. It's a fact.
That's why this Saturday evening, November 15, you will find Mister Peg and myself with Lil' at the Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade. It's like parenting 101 with only the slightest bit of effort. Just get yourself to your chosen spot on the parade route (which runs all the way from Portage at Young, to William Stephenson Way at the Forks), bring some warm clothes (because nothing spells trouble like a cold kid), and get ready to do some pointing (as in, "Hey Lil', check out that awesome snowman," and "Do you see those elves?" and "Oh my gosh Lil', there's Santa Claus!).
Now, please don't take my opening cynicism to heart, because I'm a pretty big parade fan myself. And Mister, well, we all know what a sentimental man he is, so he's just as giddy as Lil about Saturday night -- in fact, he often gets his Christmas light inspirations for our home from the many amazing floats.
The Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade is most certainly a tradition in our house, as it was with my parents and their parents before them. This inspiring event has been going on since 1909, if you could believe it. And I tell you, this magical family-oriented experience seems to keep getting better and better every year. I think it is because of technology -- the lights and displays these days just keep getting brighter and more grandiose -- but Mister tells me and Lil' its because the magic festive spirit just keeps growing (which, with this year's parade theme being "The Magic of the Season," is quite fitting).
It could also be because there are prizes for the best floats, which means maximum effort from participants, and therefore immense awe from us spectators.
They have some sensational categories, from the "WOW" Award for the "most outstanding and magical entry"; the three "I's" Award for the "most innovative, interesting and inspirational entry"; and of course, the "AHH…" Award for "the entry whose lights, colour and sounds all come together to create the best ooh and ahh."
Now I'm no psychic, but my money is on there being a Frozen-themed float or two. All you parents out there know that if little ones like Lil happen to see Olaf up there, perhaps with Princess Elsa at his side, they are going to freak out even more than when the big bearded guy in red arrives.
In fact, being the seasoned parade veteran I am, I want to know how you get on this judging committee -- so judges, if you are reading this, perhaps next year you can pull some strings for Missus Peg to get on your panel -- I'll even bring my own clipboard.
The parade starts at 5 p.m., but I'm telling you you are going to want to head downtown for around 3:00 p.m. or earlier to get a good spot and to take part in all the Santa Block Parties that start at 4. We'll be going to the one in front of CBC on Portage at Spence, where CBC personalities and Curl Manitoba will be giving out noise-makers, toques, mitts and seat warmers. Gold medal-winning curlers Team Jones will also be there, along with Terry MacLeod and Trevor Dineen, who are hosting the kids' games and curling.
Mister chose this location because he has always been a bit smitten over Jennifer Jones, while I eagerly agreed because I tell you, that Trevor Dineen is the hottest fellow to ever give you traffic updates.
Other block parties include JCI Winnipeg, who are doing road hockey and hot chocolate from Balmoral to Good; The FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 block party, where drop-in street soccer matches and photos with their Official Mascot Shuéme take place from Memorial to Vaughn; the Portage Place Mall Festival of Trees and Lights (Kennedy to Edmonton), where they will be hosting a "shoot for loot," an ornament-decorating station for its tree at the Festival of Trees and Lights, and with a mini street-dance party.
In total, there are 13 block parties taking place along Portage, including ones for great charities like Children's Advocate and the Salvation Army, so be sure to take part in these pre-parade parties.
So get downtown for some holiday magic on Saturday. It's going to be a blast.
Only in The Peg chronicles the adventures of the Peg family–Missus, Mister and Lil’ Peg–as they discover everything there is to see and do in Winnipeg. Follow them on Twitter at @tourismwpg or visit them on Facebook. For even more info on Winnipeg, visit www.tourismwinnipeg.com. Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter to stay in the loop on the latest information, contests, and upcoming events!