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Festival du Voyageur kicking off with a bang tomorrow night

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Fireworks lighting up the night sky and the Torch Light Walk will officially open the 45th Festival du Voyageur on Friday at Voyageur Park.

The Torch Light Walk, which will start at 6 p.m. at the Rendez-vous on Ice at the junction of the Red and Assiboine Rivers, will end up at Voyageur Park in Saint-Boniface where fireworks will highlight the opening ceremonies at 7:30 p.m.

The show of lights will turn the spotlight for the next 10 days onto the 2014 Festival which offers a dazzling array of activities, cultural experiences, music, parties and outdoor patios.

"There’s so many different cultures that are reflected here and we invite absolutely everybody," Festival president Geneviève Clément said at a press conference to kick off the event today. "We’ve got bands from every walk of life that are coming to entertain us so we just really want the biggest kitchen party in Manitoba, in Canada."

In keeping with this year’s slogan Woven In Time, former Official Voyageur families have been invited back so the park will be teeming with people in traditional voyageur costumes.

Numerous family activities will be held on Louis Riel Day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Fort Gibraltar. There will be free admission at the Saint-Boniface Museum 11 a.m.-5 p.m. where the bell of Batoche will be presented.

The International Snow Sculpting Symposium features 11 teams of sculptors from 10 countries and their amazing creations displayed around the park. Other attractions include the Aboriginal Winter Trading Camp, pancake breakfasts, a snowshoe trail, sleigh rides, a new kids’ playground and for grownups, the Snow Bar.

Visitors are advised to avoid lineups at the gate by purchasing a day pass or Voyageur pass at www.heho.ca, Safeway Stores, Club Regent Casino and the Festival office at 233 Provencher Blvd. For more information, go to www.heho.ca or download the new app for iPhone or Android.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

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