Oh Winnipeg! This Wednesday we stand on guard to party!
Or something to that effect anyway because on July 1st -- to mark the time a bunch of old, sideburn-sporting dudes signed the British North America Act in 1867 -- parties and gatherings will happen all over The Peg, all of which will be awesome.
Whether it is celebrating in the outdoors with the masses, or simply hitting up a patio and finding a primetime spot for seeing the fireworks (which are many), we've got you covered with the below list.
Canada Day at St. Norbert: Because there is nothing more nationalistic than eating local, the St. Norbert Farmers' Market is going all out with a full day of activities. The market opens at 11 a.m. and will feature events throughout the day such as a BBQ at noon (which of course includes fun games and splash pads for the kiddies), pony rides and fiddles at 3 p.m., bouncy castles, clowns and a magician starting at 4 p.m., followed by live music, cake, the Metis Infinity Square Dances, and fireworks at dusk.
The Forks They always have it going on, no matter what the date or season, so it's no surprise that The Forks takes Canada Day seriously. For starters, if you are down there at 9 a.m. sporting some patriotic red or white garb, you'll be part of what will (hopefully) be Canada's biggest living flag. This is the fifth anniversary of this event, which marks the 50th Anniversary of our maple leaf flag, so to mark this monumental occasion they'll be putting it together inside Shaw Park, to showcase the stadium and Winnipeg's skyline in the backdrop. Downtown Winnipeg Biz is putting this on, and as anyone who is in the know, knows, their events always rock.
Also at The Forks, on the awesome outdoor Scotiabank Stage (attractively located right beneath the Canadian Museum for Human Rights), Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries is putting on a show that will rock your maple leaf littered socks right off (in fact, be preventative and wear flip flops). This concert, which starts at 6 p.m., culminates at 10:45 p.m. with indie alt-rock band Attica Roots playing with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra followed by fireworks, which is about as cool as it gets.
There is also plenty more music to be found at venues around The Forks throughout the day. Starting at noon the Market Stage will feature great local bands playing hour-long sets, while at 5:30 p.m., under the Canopy facing the river, more great bands will be playing into the night including Sweet Alibi, The Noble Thiefs, and the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra.
Of course, all the other great Forks things are going on like Splash Dash Boat Tours along the rivers (starting at 9 a.m. and running every 30 min until 10 p.m.), traditional drumming, dancing, singing, storytelling, artisans and more via the Founding Nations Tribal Village in the Oodena Celebration Circle (starting at noon), along with football festivities to get you hyped up for this November when Winnipeg hosts the Grey Cup.
St. Boniface When it comes to festivities, few do it better than the French, so be sure to check out Old Saint-Boniface on the 1st. Starting at 11 a.m and running until 11 p.m., the stylish Esplanade Riel will be crawling with culture including visual artists from la Maison des artistes, buskers, delectable ice cream sandwiches from Chocolatier Constance Popp, and a taste of Africa from Les Régales de l'Afrique.
The bridge is also a prime location to watch The Forks' fireworks, as is the patio at the always tasty Promenade Café and Wine which will be hosting a full-fledged parking lot party from 7 p.m. to midnight featuring bar and food service along with live music.
St. B's main attractions will all have free admission and feature family-friendly activities, including le Musée de St. Boniface, Fort Gibraltar (whose costumed interpreters are always good times), the Sculpture Garden, and St. Boniface Cathedral.
Assiniboine Park You'll want to bring the kids out to Winnipeg's biggest green space because they've teamed up with Canad Inns for Picnic in The Park, a free, family-oriented day that goes from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. The Lyric Stage will feature performers all day, there will be games in the grass, the Folklorama folks will have a tent that will bring the world to Winnipeg, and it all gets capped off with a mammoth fireworks display.
Osborne Village One of Canada's coolest neighbourhoods plays venue to the city's biggest Canada Day street festival, with the whole village keeping cars at bay to make way for local businesses to bring their love to the streets. There will be food vendors, performers and all manner of family fun (including some dancing in the street) throughout the day.
Where to Stay If you are visiting and looking for a place to stay during these festivities, those fine folks at Mere Hotel have an offer for you, all at their super-stylish property which is just steps from The Forks right on the Red River. Their Canada Day rate starts at $129 per night, while they'd love for you to stay a little longer at a special rate of $99.00 per night ($99 rate valid July 2 - 4. Must stay in the hotel on July 1st to qualify for the $99 rate).
Note, top image of last year's Canada Day Concert at The Forks was taken by Sang Min Ha