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300,000 lights to illuminate Manitoba legislature ahead of province’s 150th birthday

The Manitoba Legislature will be looking a little brighter on Saturday.
The Manitoba Legislature will be looking a little brighter on Saturday. Global News / File

The 150th anniversary of Manitoba becoming Canada’s fifth province isn’t until May 2020, but organizers of the Manitoba 150 committee are getting an early start.

Co-chairs Stuart Murray and Monique Lacoste told 680 CJOB that the year-long celebration of the province is kicking off in earnest on Saturday, with a family-friendly event at the Manitoba legislature, which will see the iconic building illuminated with 300,000 lights.

READ MORE: Manitoba 150 organizers looking for uniquely local celebrations

“The legislature always has an open house in December, and it’s a great opportunity to come and visit this spectacular building,” said Lacoste.

“For Manitoba’s 150th anniversary, what a great way to enhance those activities by having some outdoor family activities as well.”

The event, which starts at 3 p.m., will include snow tube races, a snowshoe obstacle course, free gourmet hot chocolate and other attractions, including an extreme snowmobiling demonstration with X Games athletes.

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“We thought it was really a great way to signal to Manitobans that they better get ready,” Lacoste said.

“Buckle up, because 2020 is going to be a spectacular year. There are so many events to celebrate Manitoba’s 150th that we had to start in 2019.”

Manitoba 150 Celebrations
Manitoba 150 Celebrations

Murray said the real highlight of the evening will be at 6 p.m. when the light show begins.

“After we have the wonderful outdoor activity event for the family, we’re going to start a program that’s going to be a bit of a countdown,” he said.

“At 6:00, we’re gonna flip the switch, and at that point you’re going to have to cue Corey Hart’s Sunglasses at Night because we’re gonna have 300,000 lights all throughout the legislative building, the grounds, all lit up.”

READ MORE: Manitoba launches a planning committee for 150th anniversary celebrations

The free celebration will also feature guest speakers, Santa Claus, and an appearance by the Grey Cup, won by the 2019 Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Although the forecast is calling for frigid temperatures — a high of -21C — Manitoba 150 is handing out 1,500 pairs of special gloves to the first people on scene.

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