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Your weekend weather

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We'd like to kick off your weekend weather forecast with the following question: What would the Winnipeg Folk Festival be without a little rain?

The answer: It would probably be (bad word) awesome, but we'll never know, because of all the (another bad word) things in this world that go together, no two things go together as much as rain and the Folk Fest.

Unless, of course, you're talking about rain and the Red River Ex, but that's another (very bad word) story.

That said, here's your unofficial Winnipeg Folk Festival Weekend Weather forecast: "There's a 100 per cent chance you will get into a mellow groove while listening to some awesome tunes in your tie-dye T-shirts, Dashikis and macramé vests, followed by scattered periods of feeling bummed out by the long lineups at the beer tent and the porta-potties, giving way to increasing blissfulness as you blow your mind at the ukulele workshop."

Which leads us to your official forecast: "Expect to get a little Manitoba gumbo on your Birkenstock sandals."

What that means, Environment Canada says, is folk fans can look forward to a few raindrops falling on their heads as they dodge mosquitoes the size of mature Labrador retrievers buzzing around the mainstage.

The weather office says we'll see increasing cloudiness early in the afternoon today with a few showers and risk of a thunderstorm (Tip for fashionable folkies: Put away your tinfoil hats!) and a high of 24 C, which is a teensy bit below the normal high of 26 C at this humid time of year.

If you check out Environment Canada's website, the outlook for Sunday features a cute cartoon-style cloud leaking tiny cartoon raindrops, because they're predicting a 30 per cent chance of more showers along with a high of (if you're holding something sharp, you might want to put it down) just 18 C, which would be a lovely in the fall but less lovely in the heart of what should be a fry-eggs-on-the-sidewalk summer day.

On the upside, you don't really care what the weather is like, because you are at the 41st annual Winnipeg Folk Festival and, if you get any mellower, you'll probably start rotting from the inside.

If you really need to feel the heat this weekend (and we are talking tropical-style heat), we strongly suggest you lively yourself up at the ninth annual Soca Reggae Festival in Old Market Square featuring hypnotic reggae acts, spicy Caribbean delicacies, crafts and a beverage garden. Admission $7 ($10 after 7 p.m.).

I dragged Creepy Santa, my three-foot-tall stuffed Santa doll, to the reggae fest on Friday to shoot our latest Weekend Weather Video, which you can check out by scanning the Blippar link in this column or visiting

"The reggae festival is going to be GREAT!" boomed organizer Julius Eugene as crews put the finishing touches on the site and island tunes roared from giant speakers. "You know why? Because we had such a terrible start to our summer, so there's no better time to have a tropical festival. I think this is it. THE HEAT HAS ARRIVED!"

Julius said it would be a shame if you missed a chance to see the great lineup of reggae acts, especially Jamaican legend Freddie McGregor. "He (McGregor) is a reggae legend," the organizer said as the sun beat down on his shoulders. "He's on the same level as a Bob Marley, basically. There are very few legends left, and he's one of them."

Then, eyeballing Creepy Santa, Julius chirped: "You brought the North Pole with you, so we are going to put the heat on you and melt that guy! This is what we love -- bringing the Caribbean culture and the Canadian culture together."

If you need more festivals, the annual Rockin' the Red Family Fest goes this weekend in Lockport, featuring a classic car show, hot-air-balloon rides, local musicians, food and, hopefully, fireworks at dusk.

While our entire family takes in the Folk Fest, we personally plan to be on the couch on Sunday watching Germany and Argentina go at it in the final game of the World Cup in Brazil. Either that or we'll check out the action at the Manitoba Reptile Breeders Expo at the Victoria Inn and Conference Centre, 1808 Wellington Avenue.

For a mere $10, they'll let you pet snakes, geckos, bearded dragons, spiders and other creepy-crawly creatures. Some of you may be tempted to drop an encyclopedia on these reptiles, but DON'T! Because that would be entirely too cold-blooded.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 12, 2014 A19

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