Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Weekend weather

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Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the... Whoa, what's that brown, gooey stuff smeared all over your face?

Are you (bad word) kidding me, Winnipeg? You've done it again, haven't you? You've dipped into the stash of chocolate bunnies and chocolate eggs you're supposed to be hiding for your children!

I am deeply ashamed of you, Winnipeg. But the truth is, I understand why you might want to cheer yourselves up by stuffing your gobs full of sweet, sweet chocolate. Like me, you're just a bit bummed out that instead of celebrating Easter by whacking golf balls and barbecuing in the backyard, you're suffering through the Winter That Refused to Die.

My good buddy Dale Marciski at Environment Canada says whereas last March was the warmest on record, we've been running about five degrees colder than normal this month and we've had 35 centimetres of snow, more than twice the normal 16 cm for March.

The weather office says we're looking at a mix of sun and clouds today with fog in the morning and a high of 1 C, four degrees under the normal high of 5 C for this time of quiet reflection and intense chocolate consumption.

So enjoy today, Winnipeg, because Dale points out an Arctic high-pressure system will be sweeping down on the Prairies late Saturday and early Sunday, bringing strong northerly winds and colder temperatures. We're looking at a high of only -7 C on Easter Sunday and -5 C on Monday. As a special treat, there's a 60 per cent chance of -- get ready to feel the will to live leaking out of your ears -- snow flurries or rain showers on Wednesday, but it will be a teensy bit warmer.

Anyway, along with gorging yourselves on things coated in chocolate, there are lots of low-sugar, carb-free things you can enjoy over the long weekend. For starters, drag your loved ones down to The Forks Market today and Sunday for the annual Festival of Fools, featuring magicians, clowns, jugglers, comedians and high-strung aerial acts. It's free!

Or roll over to Chateau Lanes Bowling Centre, 1145 Nairn Ave., from 5 to 8 p.m. tonight for Pins for Pooches, a celebrity bowling fundraiser in support of Manitoba Underdogs Rescue. I'll be there along with legendary bowlers like Brody and Samantha from QX 104 FM, Dancing Gabe, and Bombers star Chris Cvetkovic. Ticket info at www.manitobaunderdogs.org.

Speaking of chocolate, there's an "Egg-citing" Easter Egg Hunt today from 10 a.m. to noon at the Western Canada Aviation Museum. You can make an Easter basket, then hunt for eggs throughout the hangar, while dodging propellers. Kids under 2 are free and non-members admission is $5.

And speaking of bunnies, the Winnipeg Humane Society thinks you should stick with the chocolate variety this Easter. They are reminding would-be owners that rabbits require just as much care as a dog or a cat. Also, domesticated bunnies can't survive in the outdoors and the society ends up caring for up to 200 pet rabbits each year after they're "set free" by their owners.

Most of all, don't forget to keep an eye out for Peter Cottontail. This year, he'll be wearing hip waders and carrying a snow shovel in one hand and a sump pump in the other!

doug.speirs@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 30, 2013 A2

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