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Santa Claus Coming to Town Early for Annual Parade

November 11, 2011 8:00 AM | Entertainment

Santa waves to the crowd from his sleigh during last year's Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade down Portage Avenue. (MAURICE BRUNEAU / CHRISD.CA FILE)

There’s still a skiff of snow on the ground from earlier this week, making it a little easier for Santa to land his sleigh in the city on Saturday.

The 102nd Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade will take over the streets of downtown, making for the annual tradition as Christmas approaches.

The parade will begin at 5 p.m. at Portage Avenue and Young Street, making its way east down Portage, where it will turn south at Main Street before ending on William Stephenson Way.

Street closures will be in effect beginning at 3 p.m. See a map (PDF) to find out which streets will be affected. A number of surface lots and parkades will be available for accommodate those making their way downtown. See a parking map (PDF) to find out where to park. Alternatively, parade organizers are suggesting spectators also consider Winnipeg Transit.

An estimated 60,000 people are expected to line the streets, while thousands more watching live on Shaw TV. This year, 111 float entries are in the running, accounting for 3,000 people to put on the parade.

Block parties will begin at 4 p.m., while post-parade activities are planned at The Forks. At 7 p.m., entertainment under the canopy will get underway, with Santa’s Workshop 3D graphic animation set for 7:15 p.m. Fireworks will cap off the evening at 7:30 p.m.

For the low down on everything taking place Saturday, visit WinnipegSantaParade.com.