Celebrating Canada’s 149th birthday is a big deal this weekend, especially with Canada Day falling on a Friday.
Here’s a list of just a few of the celebrations taking place across Winnipeg (and a couple outside, too).
The most traditional go-to place to celebrate the country with thousands of Winnipeggers will be at The Forks. Manitoba musicians will be rocking the stage with a packed day-long schedule on two stages.
Entertainment runs from noon to 10:30 p.m. under the canopy and from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on the main stage. Fireworks will close out the evening at 11 p.m.
Canada Day Living Flag
The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is once again organizing the country’s largest living Canadian flag at Shaw Park. T-shirt distribution will take place between 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. The planned photo-op for everyone in either their red or white shirts will happen at 11 a.m., rain or shine. Shirts — all 2,500 of them — will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Winnipeg will be competing against Victoria, Calgary, Regina, and Toronto to assemble the largest living flag in the nation.
Winnipeg Goldeyes game
The Fish are in town to begin a three-game series against the Sioux Falls Canaries at Shaw Park. Doors open at 3 p.m. and a special opening ceremony featuring the Canadian Forces will be held prior to the first pitch at 4 p.m. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and the Goldeyes box office.
Canadian Museum for Human Rights
A number of hands-on family-friendly activities are planned at the nearby CMHR between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Admission is also only $5 all day.
Entertainment all day long at Assiniboine Park from 1 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Free Canada Day birthday cake will be served at 3:30 p.m. with a spectacular fireworks show set for 10:40 p.m. Park and rides will be available at the Canadian Mennonite University, Asper Jewish Community Campus, Seasons of Tuxedo, St. Paul’s High School and Shaftesbury High School from noon to midnight.
More than 70,000 people are expected to converge on Osborne Village for a two and a half day celebration. The street festival takes place on Thursday, June 30 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday, July 1 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday, July 2 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The Festival transforms the existing Osborne Village into an exciting atmosphere beginning at River and Osborne and are comprised of Osborne Street from River Avenue to McMillan Avenue. Free family-friendly activities are planned, as well as the normal beer gardens and live entertainment. Visitors can also enjoy a village market, Flavors of our Culture Food Courts, street side shopping, and an adventure zone featuring NBA basketball courts, baseball dunk tanks, football throw and the Snap Fitness bootcamps.
Royal Canadian Mint
Running from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Mint will offer free self-guided tours, token striking, a kids’ corner, and a BBQ lunch catered by Danny’s Whole Hog Barbeque and Smokehouse from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
St. Norbert Farmers’ Market
St. Norbert Farmers’ Market Opens at 3 p.m. with great local food, drinks, entertainment and crafts for families of all ages. Slow Leaves takes to the stage at 9:30 p.m. with fireworks by Archangel Fireworks at dusk.
Canada Day in Central Park
A free BBQ, family entertainment, face-painting, and art-making from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mayor Brian Bowman, MP Robert Falcon Ouellette, and councillor Cindy Gilroy will attend. Two-time Grammy nominee Fresh IE will perform with his EDIFY youth mentorship program. The Winnipeg police helicopter will also make an appearance.
Oak Hammock Marsh
Enjoy a slice of Canada Day Cake at 2 p.m., have the Canadian flag or favourite animal painted on your cheeks by an artistic nature interpreter.
Explore some lesser-known parts of the marsh from a horse-drawn wagon from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Extra fee of $5 for non-members of the Interpretive Centre and $3 for members for this half-hour to 45-minute ride. Festivities run from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Participate in a guided canoe adventure ($3 for members and $5 for non-members) or rent your own canoe ($10 for 45 minutes).
Riding Mountain National Park
Free entry to the park on Canada Day. A citizenship ceremony will kick off celebrations at 11 a.m. followed by the singing of O’Canada. Free birthday cake will be served at 12:30 p.m. Entertainment on Friday includes Johnson Cook (12:45 p.m.), Indestructible (1 p.m., Norman Foote (2:45 p.m.), and Matt Zimmerman and guests at 3:30 p.m.
Winnipeg Transit Canada Day service
· A free Canada Day shuttle service will be operating from 12 p.m. until 12 a.m. linking downtown, The Forks and Osborne Village.
· Extra Route 11 Portage buses will be operating between The Forks and Assiniboine Park from 12 p.m. until 11 p.m. Regular transit fares apply.
· The Forks: buses will be available on Main Street between York Avenue and Wesley Avenue.
· Assiniboine Park to downtown: buses will be available at eastbound Portage Avenue at Overdale Street.
· Assiniboine Park to St. James/Assiniboia areas: buses will be available at westbound Portage Avenue at Overdale Street.
· Regular transit fares apply.