New Year’s Eve in Winnipeg moves earlier at The Forks

The ice at The Forks is painted in preparation for New Year celebrations at the Winnipeg meeting place. Gage Fletcher / Global News

WINNIPEG – The city’s signature attraction has made some changes to its annual New Year’s Eve party.

The celebration has been moved earlier, with fireworks being set off at 8 p.m. instead of the 10 p.m. of past years.

Chelsea Thomson, manager of marketing and communications for The Forks North Portage Partnership, said the change is designed to make the event more family-friendly.

“People can come take in the fireworks with the kids and do their own countdown,” Thomson said Tuesday.

READ MORE: New Year’s Eve planning in full swing in Winnipeg

Activities start with horse-drawn wagon rides at 4 p.m. Live entertainment, crafts and face painting start at 5 p.m.

Skating will take place on two rinks and the on-land skating trail. The Red River Mutual Trail on the rivers hadn’t opened Tuesday and Thomson couldn’t say if it would be open Wednesday, but crews are trying to get it ready.

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The Forks Market and Johnston Terminal will be open to 8 p.m.

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For those wishing to celebrate indoors and with grownups, the Winnipeg Convention Centre, The Met on Donald Street and the Radisson Hotel are hosting three of the city’s biggest dinner and dances downtown. Winnipeg’s casinos on Regent Avenue and McPhillips Street are also hosting parties, and hotels, bars and night clubs across the city are hosting live bands and DJs as they ring in 2015.

Many of the city’s community centres are also hosting family New Year’s Eve celebrations. Cultural centres such as the German Society of Winnipeg and the Caboto Centre also host parties.

Many of the city’s churches also host New Year’s Eve services.

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