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Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, right down Santa Claus lane...

Oops! Sorry! My bad. On closer inspection, we realize that isn't Santa at all; that's Calgary Stampeders quarterback Kevin Glenn, whose nasty team will be tackling Uncle Doug's beloved B.C. Lions on Sunday in the CFL's Western Division final.

You can see how we'd get confused. Both Santa and Kevin are dressed in red and white from the top of their heads to the tip of their toes, they both throw a tight spiral and both are going to be very busy this weekend.

The only real way to tell them apart is the fact Santa will be leading eight tiny reindeer tonight in the city's 103rd Santa Claus Parade, whereas Kevin will be leading five bone-crushing offensive linemen Sunday as he tries to deny the Lions their rightful place in the Grey Cup.

So please feel free to boo the pants off Kevin Glenn as you lounge in front of your big-screen TVs on Sunday, but I strongly recommend you be a lot nicer to Santa tonight, especially if you want to find something special under the tree on Dec. 25.

Fortunately, Environment Canada says we should be able to give Santa a warm Winnipeg welcome this evening, with a forecast high of -1 C, a smidgen above the normal high of -2 C at this festive time of year.

We can look forward to a few clouds today and glorious sunny skies Sunday, when the high should be a sizzling 4 C. There's no snow in the outlook, but somehow we think Santa won't mind.

The parade kicks off at 5 p.m., but you might want to show up a tad early because more than 60,000 people are expected line the route, which starts at Portage Avenue and Young Street, then heads east before it wraps up about 90 minutes later at Main Street and William Stephenson Way. Pre-parade block parties start at 4 p.m.

Santa hopes you remember to bring a tin for the bin and a new, unwrapped toy for the Christmas Cheer Board. Elves from Canada Post will once again be collecting your letters to Santa. Fireworks follow at The Forks at 7:30 p.m.

Uncle Doug will be there judging all the floats, then resting up for Sunday, when he puts on the red velvet suit to have his picture taken with your beloved dogs and cats and penguins at Pet Pics with Santa Paws in support of the Winnipeg Humane Society.

Remember to make an appointment at or, then pop your pet in the car and bring it to the society's shelter at 45 Hurst Way from noon to 4 p.m. You can also book times for Hanukkah Pet Pics on Sunday from 11 a.m. to noon.

Also kicking off tonight is the Tarbut: Festival of Jewish Culture at the Rady Jewish Community Centre. Tickets at 204-477-7510.

If you bring your pet to see Santa Doug on Sunday, please don't tell him whether Kevin Glenn is being naughty or nice in the western final, because Santa is PVRing the (bad word) game. And Santa knows where you live and when you're sleeping, if you catch his drift. Ho ho... you know what I mean!

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 17, 2012 A2

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