Transcona Centennial Square is set to keep its place as a community hub, even in the midst of winter.
Between hosting concerts, weekly markets, and even a movie night, the square was well-used before its official grand opening on Sept. 9. The Transcona BIZ is hoping to push that momentum forward, as the organization is planning the inaugural Winter Wonderland event from Dec. 12 to 15.
The event will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. on the 12th and 13th, from 5 to 9 p.m. on the 14th, and from 3 to 6 p.m. on the 15th.
Transcona BIZ executive director Wendy Galagan said attendees will have the opportunity to visit with Santa, enjoy hot chocolate, see the results of the Christmas tree decorating contest, and listen to local choirs singing holiday tunes. The Harold Hatcher School Grade 4/5 choir has been confirmed to sing on Dec. 15 at 4 p.m., and other local outfits are still being confirmed for the other slots.
Galagan noted those at the square will have the opportunity to stretch their vocal cords as well.
"When the choirs aren’t singing, we will have community and guest choirs, so we will have music sheets and guests will be encouraged to sing spontaneously," she said. "And there will be carols played in the background — there will be Christmas music in the square."
As for the Christmas tree decorating contest, local businesses will trim their respective trees on the afternoon of Dec. 12, and the finished products will be revealed that evening.
"The role of the business will be to decorate the tree in a unique and creative way to showcase their business," Galagan said. "I was just speaking to R.J. Accounting (Robert Juniper Accounting and Tax Service) and he’s so excited because he’s got little calculators and rulers and adding machine tape. He just can’t wait do decorate.
"It’s going to be a really fun way for businesses to express their business."
Galagan said the event is offered free to the public, but she encourages locals to bring a donation to the Transcona Food Bank, which is run out of Transcona Memorial United Church.
In addition to the donations collected, any surplus sponsorship money will go to the food bank. BIZ president Rick Purling, whose company, NVR Construction, provided the event’s main sponsorship, said he was more than happy to do something to give back to the community.
She noted there will be fire pits at the square to keep people warm, and the Transcona Historical Museum next door to the square will be open throughout the event to provide extra warmth and washroom facilities.
Galagan noted if locals are interested in volunteering at the event or with the setup and take-down, they can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 204-222-8566.