It's hard to believe that time of year has come already. The lights are up on Portage Avenue, the snow is close at hand (I think), and Santa Claus is coming to town.
Every November, downtown Winnipeg comes to life with the sights and sounds of the Santa Claus Parade, where wonder and merriment abound. It's the chance to start new traditions and continue old ones as the city marks the official beginning of the holiday season.
With that in mind, here are my top 10 tips for enjoying the Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade this weekend:
- Get there early. Block parties start at 4pm and offer up lots to see and do. You want to secure a good spot because the streets fill up fast come 5pm when the jolly guy in red starts his route.
- Take in the festivities in the afternoon. Camerata Nova performs inside Manitoba Hydro Place from 2:30-3:30 pm.
- Warm up with a hot chocolate--the good stuff will be handed out free during the concert mentioned above and look out for more at block parties along Portage Avenue.
- Write your letter to Santa. This is when he starts taking note of the naughty and nice, so get your requests in early. Canada Post employees will be on hand to collect letters and make sure they get to the North Pole.
- Bring along a non-perishable food item to donate to the Christmas Cheer Board--they'll be on site accepting donations. It is the season for giving after all.
- Head to Portage and Main for a pre-parade dance party with Frankie Hollywood and Jordan Knight. (Hint: volunteers will be out giving away free pizza.)
- Take in a game of street hockey between Balmoral and Good Streets.
- Be sure to catch a glimpse of the parade's grand marshal--Tim Hague Sr., winner of the Amazing Race Canada.
- Become a game piece inside a giant Energy Game in front of Manitoba Hydro Place.
- And of course, head to The Forks at 7:30 pm for music and fireworks!
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 at @tourismwpg on Twitter or visit them on Facebook. For even more info on Winnipeg, visit www.tourismwinnipeg.com.