What’s this -- Santa Claus is coming to town today?
It seems a little early – what with no snow in the Winnipeg region and the calendar still showing 39 more days until his scheduled Christmas arrival – but that won’t stop jolly old St. Nick from visiting the city later this afternoon.
The 104th Santa Claus Parade will wind its way through the downtown, starting at 5 p.m. The annual parade starts at Portage Avenue and Young Street, heading east on Portage before ending its slow journey on William Stephenson Way near Westbrook Street.
A total of 96 floats and groups are expected to participate. With warm temperatures forecast for today, organizers are expecting huge crowds in the 40,000-50,000 range. A total of 800 volunteers will help monitor the crowds over the 16-block parade route.
At the parade’s conclusion, there will be entertainment at The Forks, starting at 7 p.m. (with fireworks scheduled for 7:30 p.m.).
As far as road closures go, here are the areas to avoid today:
-- Portage Avenue east of Sherbrook Street to Portage Avenue East at Westbrook Street will be closed.
-- Southbound Main Street from McDermot Avenue to Graham Avenue
-- Northbound Main Street from St. Mary Avenue to Portage Avenue
-- Pioneer Avenue from main Street to Westbrook Street
-- William Stephenson Way from Main Street to Waterfront Drive.
All roads will reopen after the parade is done. For more information on the parade, road closures and parking information visit www.winnipegsantaparade.com.