WINNIPEG — Reindeer will guide Saint Nick’s sleigh along Portage Avenue on Saturday for the 108th annual Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade.
Organizations say more than 75 floats and walking groups are entered this year.
The parade will start at Portage and Young Street at 5 p.m. and finish at Main Street and William Stephenson Way.
“The common misconception is that the parade is a City of Winnipeg event and while the city gives the parade a lot of valuable assistance, the Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade is an independent, not-for-profit organization,” said parade manager Monica Derksen.
“The Christmas Cheer Board is the official charity of the parade and in addition to having a representative on the board, the parade donates annually and gives them a place in the parade so they can pick up food donations along our route.”
The traditional block parties will begin at 4 p.m.
The parade also signals the start of the city lighting its Christmas lights downtown for the season.
A number of downtown streets will be closed from 1:30-8 p.m. on Saturday to accommodate the parade.
- Portage Avenue will be closed from Sherbrook Street to Main Street
- Portage Avenue East will be closed from Main Street to Westbrook Street
- Hargrave Street, Colony Street, Vaughn Street, Kennedy Street, Edmonton Street, Garry Street, Fort Street, Carlton Street, Donald Street, and Smith Street will be closed at Portage Avenue
- Main Street southbound will be closed between McDermot Avenue and Graham Avenue
- Main Street northbound will be closed between St. Mary Avenue and Portage Avenue
- Pioneer Avenue westbound will be closed between Main Street and Westbrook Street
- Westbrook Street southbound will be closed between Portage Avenue East and William Stephenson Way
- William Stevenson Way eastbound will be closed between Main Street and Waterfront Drive
This year’s parade day coincides with a 2 p.m. Winnipeg Jets hockey game at Bell MTS Place. Anyone attending the game is advised to expect delays, plan ahead and allow additional travel time to get to and from their destinations.