Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Weekend Weather

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It was a brilliant weather-related idea while it lasted.

What with being a genius and everything, I had planned to kick off today's holiday-weekend weather forecast by telling you it is going to be gloriously sunny and warm and full of (bad word) ocean breezes and ice-cold margaritas.

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Then -- and this was the genius part -- I was going to pull the rug out from under you by pointing out this was, in fact, the forecast for Vancouver, where I am spending the next couple of weeks visiting family and buying B.C. Lions souvenirs.

Unfortunately, I have just looked at Environment Canada's website and -- get ready to have a big laugh at my expense -- the long-weekend weather in Vancouver is not going to be nearly as nice as it is at home.

In fact, as it turns out, today's outlook for Vancouver calls for a high of 22 C, cloudy skies and -- you are not going to believe this -- a 30 per cent chance of rain. So I am bringing some of our seriously damp summer with me to the West Coast.

In case you haven't heard, Vancouver did not get a (bad word) drop of rain in all of July, the first time my old hometown has been precipitation-free in July since they started keeping rainfall statistics in 1937.

In stark contrast -- and, yes, you can have another laugh at my expense -- Winnipeg's weekend forecast is looking pretty sweet, with gloriously sunny skies today and a high of 23 C, which is a teensy bit under the normal high of 26 C at this time of year. Sunday, it gets even better, with a high of 24 C and not a cloud in sight.

There are a few clouds in the forecast for Monday and Wednesday, but otherwise it's clear sailing for everyone here on the flatlands, while over the mountains to your west, I will be dodging raindrops and shaking my fists at the skies, which is not easy when you are holding ice-cold beers in both hands.

Speaking of things to make the holiday weekend special -- I know that's not a great segue but I have to go pack -- we have more festivals than you can shake a stick at.

For starters, Islendingadagurinn, the legendary Icelandic Festival of Manitoba, will be storming the shores of Gimli right through Monday. You can release your inner Viking at the Viking Village before enjoying thrill rides, pancake breakfasts, beach volleyball, fireworks and a rousing game of Fris-Nok, which you can look up on Wikipedia because you probably would not believe my explanation. Find more info at www.icelandicfestival.com.

Also vying for your holiday-weekend dollar today and tomorrow is the River City Rumble, Winnipeg's first-ever rockabilly festival, which is being held at the Metropolitan Entertainment Centre on Donald Street and features headliners such as Stray Cats bassist Lee Rocker and Kim Lenz and the Jaguars. A weekend pass is $75 at www.rivercityrumble.ca.

And you will bring shame on your family if you forget our 44th annual Folklorama, the largest and longest-running multicultural festival in the world, kicks off Sunday and runs until Aug. 17. Admission is $6 at the door. Find more at www.folklorama.ca.

So knock yourselves out this holiday weekend, Winnipeg. Because while you are getting your fest on, I apparently will be getting my rain gear on.

doug.speirs@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 3, 2013 A2

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