Santa Claus Parade returns to downtown Winnipeg for a festive evening

The Santa Claus Parade hosted by Manitoba Hydro is back and ready to kick off the holiday season on Saturday in downtown Winnipeg.

It starts at 5 p.m., and the parade route will be the same as the one in 2022: starting at Portage Avenue and Main Street, heading west down Portage, until turning south onto Memorial Boulevard. Then it will end at York Avenue.

This year’s parade returns to an evening start, lighting up downtown with music, Christmas cheer, magic, and twinkling lights.

“There’s something extraordinary about a nighttime parade,” says Monica Derksen, director of the Manitoba Hydro Santa Claus Parade.

“We encourage Manitobans to come early for the Block Parties at 4:00 PM, enjoy the Parade at 5:00 PM, and grab tickets to the Winnipeg Jets game, starting at 6:00 PM, to embrace all things downtown and all things local.”

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In addition to the Winnipeg Jets game at 6 p.m. at Canada Life Centre, there is also a student conference, a gala, and several additional events at downtown venues.

Catherine Wreford, an Amazing Race Canada winner, a cancer survivor, an actor, dancer, and advocate, is kicking off the 2023 Manitoba Hydro Santa Parade as the grand marshal, leading the almost 50 entries throughout downtown Winnipeg.

“I love everything to do with Christmas, and I’m looking forward to adding a new tradition for myself and my family,” Wreford says.

“I never had the opportunity to attend the parade as a kid as I was always dancing and then I moved away. Now I’m home and I’m honoured to be a part of the parade.”

Organizers are encouraging parade spectators to bring non-perishable food items and new unwrapped gifts for the Christmas Cheer Board.

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