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Weekend weather

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Why not head to The Forks this weekend?

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I had every intention of beginning today's weekend weather forecast with this uplifting weather-related jest:

Q: What do you call two straight days of rain sandwiched between blue skies and rainbows?

A: A summer weekend in Winnipeg!

Ha ha ha! Isn't that a swell joke that would definitely have made you feel a lot better if you were forced to endure yet another overcast, soggy weekend? No? I didn't think so.

Fortunately, I have some amazing news -- I have just eyeballed Environment Canada's website and it is festooned with cute little cartoon-style suns to indicate there is a good chance our pasty flesh will be burned to a crisp this weekend if we are not careful.

The important thing is, instead of being victims of the cloudy, wet weather that had been predicted in earlier forecasts, we are now going to experience something we have always dreamed of experiencing -- the joy of being "normal."

According to the weather office, today will be sunny with a smattering of clouds and the daily high will be 23 C, which is spot-on normal for this time of year.

What's more, Sunday will be cloud-free with another normal high of 23 C. There may be a few clouds on Monday, but the rest of the week is looking like nothing but sun with the mercury creeping up to a sizzling 27 C by Wednesday, which means if you wrap yourself in tinfoil as protection from the sun's harmful rays, you'll be the spitting image of a baked potato. I'm just saying.

The big question is: What should a group of "normal" people do to celebrate the fact the weather is now officially "normal?" For starters, I'd recommend you roll down to The Forks today and Sunday to release your inner child at the annual Winnipeg International Children's Festival, featuring zany circus acts, high-flying acrobatics, comic daredevils and musical performances by famed international artists, including the legendary Fred Penner. Tickets are $16 at the gate. For more info, visit kidsfest.ca.

While you're at The Forks, you can immerse yourself in my beloved Scottish culture by checking out the big competition under the canopy presented by the Manitoba Highland Dancers Association. It runs today and Sunday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and features kilt-clad dancers of all ages. Just follow the smell of the fresh haggis. Better yet, follow the sound of the bagpipes.

On Sunday, I urge everyone within the sound of my voice to ride over to Riverview Health Centre, where I'll be the MC for the 15th annual Cycle on Life fundraiser, in which hundreds of cyclists will be using pedal power to raise cash for the centre's Alzheimer's and dementia units.

There are two routes -- a 70-kilometre ride starting at 8 a.m. and a 24-kilometre ride starting at 10 a.m. -- both of which give riders a chance to check out the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' new home, Investors Group Field. There will be a bunch of Bomber alumni and some local politicians on hand to lead the way. Registration, pledges and donations can be made online at www.rhcf.mb.ca or by contacting Riverview at 204-478-6271.

The important thing, regardless of what you do this weekend, is that you feel special while doing it. Because that's officially "normal" for a sunny weekend in Winnipeg.

doug.speirs@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 8, 2013 A2

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