Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/12/2018 (272 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Ten years ago, the tiny staff of the newly opened Lilac Bakery at 920 Grosvenor Ave., were just beat by the end of their first Christmas season. They’d opened Aug. 13, 2008, and were just getting the hang of running a bakery.
"There was just me and my mom, Linda, and my sister, Jennifer!" Chris Atkinson says. Customers loved the old-fashioned baking made from scratch, as in years past, with no apologies for sugar, flour, eggs and butter — and business exploded.
Has anything changed for the 2018 Christmas rush? "I’m still working 12-hour days, but I have 12 staff for Christmas, counting the two dishwashers. Orders have gotten much bigger and some people pre-order way ahead.
"I had 100 dozen mini-cupcakes go out the door yesterday," he says with a laugh, "and that was just one order!"
"It’s exciting, even though it’s exhausting!"
NEW YEAR’S EVE TIP: Mon Ami Louis, the three seasons restaurant on the Esplanade Riel, has a perfect indoor view of the New Year’s fireworks at The Forks, so it’s opening for New Year’s Eve with several seatings of gourmet dinners to go with the 8 p.m. and midnight fireworks shows.
Award-winning chef Luc Jean has created a multi-course gourmet dinner with soup, salad, a choice of three entrées and four desserts. Fireworks shoot into the sky right in front of you. Call WOW Hospitality at 204-942-1090, extension 225 for more information.
DIRTY DANCING ‘TIL MIDNIGHT! On New Year’s Eve, Celebrations Dinner Theatre performs More Dirty Dancing, which ends at 11 p.m., allowing the audience to dance with cast and crew, with help from a DJ, to get them to the magic midnight hour. Partygoers get an additional midnight buffet of hors d’oeuvres, plus shiny hats, party favours and a bubbly toast to the New Year at the stroke of midnight.
Psst! Some inside scoop on this More Dirty Dancing show: Its two lead actors, Mark Kazakoff, 27, and Joannie Draper, 38, had just 2½ weeks to practise and rehearse their roles. In this version, it’s the woman who is the instructor and the man who the naive student.
"I’m not a dance instructor in real life, but an actress, singer — and acrobat," Draper says. "So, what I love most is the aerial silks scene."
Also in the cast is Dan Allen, as Hercule Charmont, Hanna Skibin, as Mrs. Robinson, Chris Weymouth, playing both Mikey and Gerald Giles, and Maggie Paul, as Betsy.
HILL HAVEN TREE FARM: Heard of organic Christmas trees? Grant Park High School music teacher Dorian Girardin and his family are part-time Christmas tree farmers at Hill Haven, near Sidney, about 150 kilometres west of Winnipeg. They’re selling organic Christmas trees through Humboldt’s Legacy at 167 Lilac St.
Girardin says Christmas trees can be treated with herbicides and pesticides and "some are even painted to give them a uniform colour."
Here’s the big plus — Girardin delivers to your yard, deck or door in his truck. Good-sized trees run around $70 with delivery. Phone Humboldt’s at 204-772-1404 for payment and delivery arrangements.
WINNIPEG MUSICIANS FOR SILOAM MISSION: It’s called the Big Gig. On Thursday, at the Norwood Hotel, a squad of Winnipeg musicians will team up for the evening’s entertainment, all to raise funds for the Siloam Mission. Tickets are just $10.
Among those musicians taking part are the Holly Davidson Band, The Biivers, The Nooners, Ray Martin, and many guests including Stan Bedernjak, who played bass in the Kenny Shields Band, and his pal Dave Wood from Woodwork.
The doors open at 6 p.m. and the music starts at 7 p.m.
"The show will go on until 1 a.m. with a big bin for clothing and toys for Siloam Mission," Bedernjak says. "It will be a night of music for a great cause and ranges from acoustic to dance music, jazz, rock and country — a little bit of everything."
WANT TO BE A HERO? Got family and friends coming to town for the holiday? Free Press advice columnist Miss Lonelyhearts has good news and bad news: It’ll be a lot of fun, but both adults and kids will eventually grow bored and restless.
The good news? There’s lots of fun activities this year in the city to get them out of your hair.
POP-UP ESCAPE ROOM: It’s a brand-new escape room but will disappear in six weeks. Enigma Escapes has created A Christmas Story escape room, based on the movie classic about Ralphie, the boy who so desperately wanted an "official Red Ryder carbine action, 200-shot, range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time."
Owner and designer Laura Hawkins bought the rights to do this story as an escape room, and the seasonal pop-up is now open at the Seasons of Tuxedo complex on Sterling Lyon Parkway. "The room has been so popular we’ve had to hold it over until the end of January!" Hawkins says.
BIG DAVE MCLEAN BLUES JAM: Got older folk to entertain? Music lovers from 18 to 80 love blues star Big Dave McLean and his Sunday night jam at Times Change(d) High and Lonesome Club at 234 Main St. McLean and his band do the first hour, starting at 9 p.m. and then other players join them on stage. BTW, the Times Change(d) house band the Perpetrators play on New Year’s Eve.
KARAOKE: Got restless guests who like to sing karaoke? Saffron’s Bar at 681 Corydon Ave., is alive with everyone’s favourite ditties Friday and Saturday nights with host Jacqui Fox.
GLOW ARCHERY: Heights Archery at 2281 Portage Ave., is fun for both adults and kids, and even has a devoted black-light archery party aisle. Instructors will teach you how to hold the bow and shoot your arrows safely at the target. Heights is open Monday to Fridays from noon to 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. except for Christmas, Boxing Day and New Years Day.
Got tips? Cool events happening in your world? Been rubbing shoulders with the stars? Email Maureen’s Tips at email@example.com.
Updated on Monday, December 17, 2018 at 9:22 AM CST: Rotates photo