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It's time to get your flag on

Thousands invited to form human Maple Leaf

Posted: 06/29/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

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Winnipeggers will once again be competing for the honour of being Canada's largest living flag on Canada Day.

Residents from different cities participating in the event will wear red and white and stand together to form a Canadian flag this Monday. The Winnipeg portion is being organized by the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ.

Manager of marketing and communications Signy Gerrard said it's a good opportunity for people to start off their Canada Day.

"I think it's going to be the greatest photo op that you're going to have on Canada Day in the city," Gerrard said.

The event starts at 9:30 a.m. at the legislature grounds. The photo will be taken between 11:15 a.m. and noon.

This is the third year Winnipeg is participating in the event. Last year, Winnipeg was honoured by Canada Post when a picture of that year's living flag was put on a stamp, the only city to be given the honour. Gerrard said being put on the stamp was a highlight for the organizers and participants.

"That was really a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing. I know people participating in the flag were really excited about it. We had a lot calling and looking very closely trying to find themselves in the stamp," she said.

Winnipeg will compete against a few other Canadian cities, including Victoria, Ottawa, and Calgary, which will try to take Winnipeg's title of the biggest living flag.

Gerrard said Winnipeg won't go down without a fight. "We've got to make sure we give them some good competition."

She said she gets a lot of positive responses from participants each year and isn't expecting anything different this time around.

"When they start O Canada, right as the flag (photo) gets taken, everyone really starts to get goosebumps," she said.

Last year, the attendance was a little shy of 4,000 people. Gerrard said she expects more this year.

Environment Canada is forecasting sunny skies and a high of 28 C.

Walk-ups are welcome on Monday, but Gerrard said organizers are asking all those who want to participate to wear either red or white T-shirts. The first 2,000 people to arrive will get free T-shirts, she said.

oliver.sachgau@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 29, 2013 A1

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