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New immigrants celebrate first Christmas in Winnipeg

Lorraine Nickel / Global News

WINNIPEG — Newcomers to Winnipeg are celebrating their first Christmas the way it was meant to be, with food and friends.

The West End Biz and Sel Infantino, the owner of X-Cues Billiards and Sorrento’s on Ellice Avenue, are hosting the 10th annual Christmas Eve Feast Thursday.

Some 500 people are invited to the event, many are immigrants spending their first Christmas in Canada, some are international students not able to make it home for Christmas and local families and people who don’t have anyone near and spend Christmas alone.

“Some have only been here a few days or a few months, others are community members that might be alone that need some company or a warm meal and warm company to share it with,” said Gloria Cardwell-Hoeppner with the West End Biz.

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Infantino is a Sons of Italy member who helped fund raise this year to make this event possible.

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“Many Italian families were once newcomers to the area,” said Infantino, “My own family have been here over 45 years now and we make it a priority to be welcoming and active in this community we call home.”

For many this will be their only holiday meal and celebration.

Santa and Mrs. Claus gave gifts to about 200 children. Every person will get a gift, warm clothing items, a food hamper with ingredients for a hearty meal, and some personal care items.

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