The spirit of Christmas comes to Winnipeg with family fun, parade Saturday

It is a Winnipeg tradition that almost came to an end — the annual Christmas parade — but Santa Claus will be coming to town this Saturday in a shiny new sleigh.READ MORE: Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade on verge of cancellation after 108 yearsMore than that, a downtown mall is hoping families will make a day of it.Story continues below

Cityplace will be transformed into Santa’s Workshop on Saturday, Nov. 17, giving kids of all ages the chance to get into the festive spirit with crafts, cookies, and pictures with Santa.The mall, bounded by Hargrave and Donald streets, and Graham and St. Mary avenues, signed on as a sponsor of the Santa Claus parade. Their events promise family fun from 2-4 p.m.“We are delighted to be a part of the beloved Santa Claus Parade that brings so many families and children joy and wonder every year,” Cheryl Roney of Cityplace said.The activities will be offered in partnership with JCI Winnipeg, a non-profit organization of young people ages 18-40.READ MORE: Santa Claus Parade saved after group hits $100K fundraising goalThe parade was at risk of being cancelled when organizers struggled to find funding to replace the aging Santa float and run the parade.A GoFundMe campaign raised a total of $151,349 thanks to several last minute donations, including James Richardson & Sons, Limited, Kinsmen Club of Winnipeg, PAL Group, Sifton Foundation, Crosstown Civic Credit Union, New Flyer & MCI, and Tri-Core Projects, Wawanesa and Cityplace.“This campaign brought people together in a common goal with hundreds of donations ranging from $5 – $40,000 from individuals, organizations, foundations and businesses of all sizes,” said parade director Monica Derksen.The new float was revealed at The Forks Thursday night, and of course, will usher the big man in the red suit — Santa himself — into the city Saturday afternoon.WATCH: A preview of Winnipeg’s Santa Claus Parade and new float