November 17, 2018 10:45 am

The spirit of Christmas comes to Winnipeg with family fun, parade Saturday

Santa Claus on his float during the Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade in 2017.

Global News File

It is a Winnipeg tradition that almost came to an end — the annual Christmas parade — but Santa Claus will be coming to town this Saturday in a shiny new sleigh.

READ MORE: Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade on verge of cancellation after 108 years

More than that, a downtown mall is hoping families will make a day of it.

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Cityplace will be transformed into Santa’s Workshop on Saturday, Nov. 17, giving kids of all ages the chance to get into the festive spirit with crafts, cookies, and pictures with Santa.

The mall, bounded by Hargrave and Donald streets, and Graham and St. Mary avenues, signed on as a sponsor of the Santa Claus parade. Their events promise family fun from 2-4 p.m.

“We are delighted to be a part of the beloved Santa Claus Parade that brings so many families and children joy and wonder every year,” Cheryl Roney of Cityplace said.

The activities will be offered in partnership with JCI Winnipeg, a non-profit organization of young people ages 18-40.

READ MORE: Santa Claus Parade saved after group hits $100K fundraising goal

The parade was at risk of being cancelled when organizers struggled to find funding to replace the aging Santa float and run the parade.

A GoFundMe campaign raised a total of $151,349 thanks to several last minute donations, including James Richardson & Sons, Limited, Kinsmen Club of Winnipeg, PAL Group, Sifton Foundation, Crosstown Civic Credit Union, New Flyer & MCI, and Tri-Core Projects, Wawanesa and Cityplace.

“This campaign brought people together in a common goal with hundreds of donations ranging from $5 – $40,000 from individuals, organizations, foundations and businesses of all sizes,” said parade director Monica Derksen.

The new float was revealed at The Forks Thursday night, and of course, will usher the big man in the red suit — Santa himself — into the city Saturday afternoon.

WATCH: A preview of Winnipeg’s Santa Claus Parade and new float

The parade will travel down Portage Avenue as it has for the past several years, with a start time of 4:30 p.m.

Parking, road access and bus routes will be on altered schedules beginning in the afternoon and lasting through the evening. Details are available on the City of Winnipeg website here.

The following roads will be closed from 1:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday:

  • Portage Avenue from Sherbrook Street to Main Street
  • Portage Avenue East from Main Street to Westbrook Street
  • Hargrave, Colony, Vaughn, Kennedy, Edmonton, Garry, Fort, Carlton, Donald and Smith Streets will all be closed at Portage Avenue
  • Main Street southbound between McDermot Avenue and Graham Avenue
  • Main Street northbound between St. Mary Avenue and Portage Avenue
  • Pioneer Avenue westbound between Main Street and Westbrook Street
  • Westbrook Street southbound between Portage Avenue East and William Stephenson Way
  • William Stephenson Way eastbound between Main Street and Waterfront Drive

— With files from Elisha Dacey and Sam Thompson

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