Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Your weekend weather

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Grab a frosty beverage and a can of mosquito repellent, because it's time for your final weekend weather forecast for the exceedingly humid month of July.

Here's the good news: The outlook calls for sunny skies, tropical temperatures, gentle breezes sweeping down from snow-capped mountains and glorious sunshine glinting off rolling waves as otters and orcas paddle around for your amusement.

Here's the bad news: That's the outlook for the West Coast, which is where I'll be spending the next two weeks explaining to snotty B.C. residents why I love living in Winnipeg, even though most of my blood has been drained by mosquitoes large enough to disguise themselves as American tourists.

Closer to home, Environment Canada says you're looking at a typical Manitoba summer weekend, by which I mean two days of damp weather with jungle-style humidity followed by nothing but sunshine on the days we are trapped in our office cubicles staring up at the ceiling tiles.


The weather office warns today we'll see a lot of clouds with a few showers beginning in the afternoon, a risk of a thunderstorm in the afternoon and evening and a high of just 23 C, which is a tad below the normal high of 26 C.

On Sunday, the forecast calls for a mix of sun and clouds with a high of just 22 C. As has been our pattern, the weekend will be followed by (why not?) cloudless skies with highs rocketing up to a sweltering 31 C by Wednesday.

Since you won't be joining me on the West Coast, I strongly suggest you spend the weekend taking in the final performances at the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival, featuring a record 176 shows at 30 venues.

In a sincere and humanitarian effort to find something to pad out this column, I took Creepy Santa, my metre-tall stuffed Santa doll, down to the fringe fest early Friday to film our latest weekend weather video, which you can savour by scanning the Blippar app in this column with your smartphone or visiting

Creepy and I were lucky enough to have a deeply personal chat with Australia's Ross Vegas, an awesome circus performer and human beat box whose off-the-wall show, Running on Stilts, has its final performance tonight at 8:30 p.m. at the Pantages Playhouse Studio.

You should know that, as we chatted, Ross was balancing his entire body on one hand while perched on top of a picnic table and doing a spot-on impersonation of a didgeridoo, an Australian aboriginal wind instrument. "The show is not for kids," Ross, 42, chirped. "It's autobiographical stories about my 20 years travelling the world as an itinerant street performer and some of the joys and sorrows of that.

"Like the time I was on stilts and I knocked a little old lady over. I was dancing with her and she got dizzy and kind of keeled over. She made a full recovery, I'm happy to say. The show is storytelling with acrobatics, stilt-dancing, handstands on a tower of folding chairs. It's funny."

He made his way here from his home in Fremantle -- "It's about as far from Winnipeg as you can get" -- because friends had raved about performing in our fringe fest. "They loved it," he beamed. "So far, my friends have been proven right. I'm enjoying it. In fact, I'm enjoying it a little too much."

Speaking of enjoying yourself, when you're not fringing, roll over to the Scotiabank Stage at The Forks today from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. for the annual Folklorama Kickoff, featuring amazing multicultural entertainment and, fingers crossed, a fireworks display.

And, if yee knows what's good for yee (and thee) hither thy loins over to yon Cooks Creek today for the Medieval Festival at the historic Immaculate Conception Church & Grotto featuring (take a deep dragon-style breath) full-contact jousting, heavy combat in armour, an archery tournament, puppet show, Garden of Ale, medieval petting zoo and, naturally, fire dancing. Find ticket info at

Along with a lovely smattering of rain, it wouldn't be a Manitoba summer without the Gimli Film Festival, featuring more than 100 indoor screenings and the semi-legendary free beach movies displayed on the festival's famed 11-metre-tall monster screen. Get tickets at 204-642-8846. Don't forget to remove your horned Viking helmet so the folks behind you can see the (bad word) movie.

So have another wonderful and moist summer weekend, Winnipeg. I will be thinking about you guys the whole time I am out west, unless, of course, I get eaten by an orca, a West Coast pickerel on steroids.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 26, 2014 A2

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