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Winter festival hits Fort Richmond

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An upcoming Fort Richmond festival will bring together community members of all ages.


Now in its fourth year, the Midwinter Festival is a family event run by students and community members from the southwest Winnipeg area.


This year’s event will take place on Sat., Feb. 2 at the grounds of Acadia Junior High School and Fort Richmond Collegiate.


Allison Kilgour, a Grade 12 student at Fort Richmond Collegiate, and one of the lead youth co-ordinators of the event, said it was started in 2009 as a response to violence happening in the community.


"We thought… (bringing) the community together would be a great idea," Kilgour said.


Though it was initially organized only by the students at Fort Richmond Collegiate and Acadia Junior High School, the schools are expanding it to be something the entire community helps organize.


The event is completely free, with no admission fees or costs for food or activities. The festival is funded through donations from area churches and organizations, as well as city grants and funding.


Kilgour said keeping the festival free-of-charge is something important to organizers.


"We want to ensure everyone can attend and will not be limited by financial reasons," she said.


The festival focuses on all kinds of winter activities from snowshoeing and tobogganing to sleigh rides and bonfires.


Free professional family photographs will be offered for families who might not have a chance to get one otherwise, Kilgour said.


While in its first year organizers weren’t sure they were going to make the festival an annual tradition, the event has been so well-attended they’ve continued it every year.


"Every year we’ve had at least 1,500 in attendance. It’s been really welcomed by the community," Kilgour said.


Organizers are hoping for the same turnout this year, too.


"We’re really hoping it goes well again. We’ve had great weather every year. We’re just trying to keep it going and make it better every year," Kilgour said.


The festival will run from 12 to 3 p.m.

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