The Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade is coming to town Nov. 18

Christmas cheer is coming to the city early this year.

On Nov. 18, the annual Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade will bring tens of thousands downtown for the unofficial start of the holiday season. As usual, the route will run down Portage Avenue before heading south on Main Street.

Festivities get underway Saturday afternoon, with block parties, street hockey, salsa dancing and more. The parade itself begins at 5 p.m. and will showcase more than 70 photo-worthy floats for the whole family to enjoy. The entries will feature everything from Cinderella to dinosaurs and, of course, the man of the hour.

To add a little friendly competition to the mix, prizes will be awarded for the “WOW” Award (the “most outstanding and magical entry”), the “3 I’s” Award (the “most innovative, interesting and inspirational entry”) and the “AHH…” Award (the float whose “lights, colour, and sounds all come together to create the best ooh and ahh”). Local celebrity judges include Steve Adams of Energy 106, Brittany Greenslade of Global News and Doug Speirs of the Winnipeg Free Press.

Whether the parade is a longstanding family tradition or a last-minute outing, the lights and excitement make for a fun and memorable experience — especially for the kiddies. And with snow on the ground and a forecast of -9C,  it will be the perfect excuse for some hot chocolate.

For more information, visit the Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade website.

Note: Portage Avenue will be closed starting at 2 p.m. Plan your alternate route using the Parade’s online maps

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