Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

'There he is!'

Santa's still the biggest rock star ever

  • Print

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Four-year-old Madeline Dunton and her mom Sally wait along Portage Avenue for the parade to begin.

Premature arrival aside -- and yes, the lack of snow and above-normal temperatures play tricks with the mind sometimes -- the one they call Santa Claus made his way though Winnipeg Saturday night.

And even though the big guy in the red suit arrived 39 days ahead of schedule -- well before his regular time to shine on Christmas Eve -- the early returns from an adoring fan base showed little complaint. Santa Claus is Justin Bieber or Justin Timberlake backed up by the Beatles. To put it another way, the jolly old fellow is a rock star, as his presence above a standing-room-only crowd proved once again.

Why are you here, Anna Robinson?

"To see Santa Claus," the five-year-old beamed prior to the 104th annual Santa Claus Parade through downtown Winnipeg early last evening. "I want to see Santa."

Rookies take note for next year: Most of those hoping to catch a glimpse of St. Nick on Saturday had obviously done this before. Two hours before the parade was to start, people were setting up lawn chairs and blankets curbside.

"You have to get here early to get a good spot," offered Shirley Janzen, with her four-year-old son Sam.

So what do you want for Christmas, Sam?

"A Christmas tree," he shouted.

The warm-up acts came and went, with more misses than hits. Not that the tens of thousands lining Portage Avenue to take in the event needed to be warmed, thanks to another November day of above-zero temperatures.

The radio station dance party looked fun. The Art City robots and "van of speakers" certainly found an audience. The Winnipeg Jets exhibit, complete with organ music and the standard "Go Jets Go" chant preached to the choir, which stood a dozen people deep on the sidewalks.

Even before the almost 100 floats floated along Portage, organizers put a different twist on things.

Fourteen little block parties, making up most of the 16-block parade route, started an hour before Santa even climbed into his sleigh. Part of the idea was not only to make the experience longer for children, but to encourage people to find a safe vantage point well in advance of the holiday-season procession.

If those side-stage events didn't work to get people downtown, the free sugar cookies and hot chocolate before the parade did.

Before you knew it, once the supporting cast passed by, it was time for the headliner.

After Mrs. Claus stole the spotlight (surprising more than a few children along the way), Santa arrived on the scene in his traditional mode of transport.

He's put a few kilometres on his old sleigh and its roadworthiness had been put in question in the months leading up to the event, but some quick work by elves, er... students, at Winnipeg Technical College, made it street-legal once again.

"There he is," exclaimed a young girl, her face pressed against the glass inside the MTS Centre atrium. "I see him."

It was a rare and familiar sighting, all in one shot.

adam.wazny@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 17, 2013 A3

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Rumor's 30th Anniversary with Mike Wilmot, Darryl Lenox, Dave Hemstad & Derek Edwards

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Canada goose makes takes flight on Wilkes Ave Friday afternoon- See Bryksa’s 30 Day goose a day challenge- Day 09- May 11, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A black swallowtail butterfly land on Lantana flowers Sunday morning at the Assiniboine Park English Gardens- standup photo – August 14, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

How much does the premier's apology mean to you?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google