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This Fokker Super Universal is one of several planes once used by bush pilots on display at the Western Canada Aviation Museum in Winnipeg. The museum celebrates the history of aviation in Canada, from early homemade helicopters to modern-day jets. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Steve Lambert

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This Fokker Super Universal is one of several planes once used by bush pilots on display at the Western Canada Aviation Museum in Winnipeg. The museum celebrates the history of aviation in Canada, from early homemade helicopters to modern-day jets. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Steve Lambert

Last shot to see stampede

Professional cowboys and cowgirls are in Morris today for the final day of Manitoba's biggest rodeo, the Manitoba Stampede & Exhibition. This is your closest opportunity to see the best in the rodeo business, but the rodeo isn't the only thing to see at the stampede. There's a midway and plenty of deep-fried deliciousness, outdoor stage entertainment and an agricultural fair. Rodeo events start at 2 p.m. today, and it's all about a 45-minute drive south of Winnipeg.

Horseplay at the park

Imagine a horse-drawn carriage. Did you picture Cinderella and her pumpkin wagon? The Birds Hill International Horse Driving Trial is quite a bit different. Usually this is an all-weekend event, but this year the event has been compacted into one action-packed day. The obstacle challenge will send the teams splashing through water and over a bridge and test the horses' agility and driver's strategy. It's happening today from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Birds Hill Provincial Park along North Drive, just off the East Gate entrance.

Explore the explorers

At the turn of the 20th century, a lot of Canada had yet to be explored, and it was bush pilots who trekked into the northern unknown. Their compasses were often unreliable, they had little radio communication, but they had plenty of courage. The Western Canada Aviation Museum presents a guided tour of its Bush Planes collection, featuring planes that carried the bush pilots, called Unexplored: Bush Pilots Opened up the Canadian North. There's a tour today at 2 p.m., and again Tuesday and Thursday.

Zumbathon for charity

Three hours of dancing and shopping? Sounds like a great way to spend a night. This Thursday, you can take part in a Zumbathon in support of the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities Foundation/Easter Seals Manitoba. From 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., you can zumba the night away at Melrose Park Community Centre. If you'd like to take a break from the shaking and shimmying, there will be all sorts of vendors for a shopping break. Tickets are $25 at the door.

Downtown diversion

Head to Air Canada Park on Tuesday for a lunch-hour performance in the Chinatown Concert Series. You'll get to see a traditional lion dance, Chinese kung fu, dance, music and more. If you're working downtown, it's a perfect opportunity to pack a lunch and walk down Portage Avenue to the park for an hour of culture, starting at noon.

Walking through history

The Exchange District is a beautiful neighbourhood that's full of history. You can take a walking tour through the Exchange District and learn about Old Market Square, Newspaper Row, the Winnipeg General Strike and more. You can go east or west, or take a specialty tour highlighting specific areas. You can book a tour between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Saturday. Go to exchangedistrict.org and look under the tours and attractions tab for more info, including prices, or call 204-942-6716.

Battle of the bridges

Tuesday is Transcona Library's Spaghetti Bridge Competition. If you're nine to 12 years old, you can bring a team to the library and, using spaghetti and basic materials, see if you can design and build the strongest noodle bridge. Sounds easy? Dry spaghetti isn't that strong, so you'll need to be creative and think this one through. The competition starts at 2 p.m., and you can call 204-986-3955 to register.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 20, 2014 ??65534

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