Many gather for downtown street festival return

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For the first time in two years, Winnipeggers packed downtown streets ready for outdoor concerts, carnival rides, and rows upon rows of food trucks.

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For the first time in two years, Winnipeggers packed downtown streets ready for outdoor concerts, carnival rides, and rows upon rows of food trucks.

After its pandemic hiatus, ManyFest kicked off Friday and continues Sunday, drawing families and four-legged friends into a last-of-summer-fun atmosphere they’ve missed since 2019.

“It’s nice to see people out and about again,” Ciara Desierto said, fresh mini doughnuts in hand as she and her husband Camilo and their four- and six-year-old sons took in a Peg City basketball game on festival grounds along Broadway Saturday afternoon.

DANIEL CRUMP / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Zach Gerbrandt climbs the Vertical Adventures portable climbing wall at ManyFest Saturday afternoon.

“We got here a little while ago, making the most out of the day,” Camilo agreed. “This is our first year back… so it’s nice to see everything going again.”

The downtown street festival expanded this year, adding a basketball tournament, live wrestling show, and dog-friendly “Pup Patio” in addition to past favourite attractions like Food Truck Wars.

Butter chicken perogies were high on the list of delicacies for Michelle Hunter, who said the food is her favourite part of the festival.

“Definitely the food! I just love to eat. If I could spend all my time eating without getting full, I would,” she said with a laugh.

On a visit from her home in B.C., former Winnipegger Brenda Sinclair said the event made her glad to return to her roots.

DANIEL CRUMP / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Festival goers enjoy some of the many food trucks that are a staple at ManyFest.

“I think the setting is perfect,” she said, under a clear blue sky and a slight breeze, adding the variety of activities at ManyFest gave people so many reasons to stick around.

“I think it’s blended itself well, so you hang a little longer in leisure to just experience that good atmosphere,” Sinclair said.

Waiting in a long line to tackle some vertical rock climbing on the children’s play field, Jennifer Lim said there’s so much to do, she and her family planned to return.

“We’re likely coming back tomorrow again,” she said, as 12-year-old Sera, nine-year-old Khalil and six-year-old Amelia waited their turn to climb.

“I’m gonna go all the way up to the top!” Mia exclaimed.

DANIEL CRUMP / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Thrills are provided at some of the rides.

The festival continues from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Organizers said turnout has so far been higher than anticipated.

DANIEL CRUMP / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Thrill seekers had plenty of fun.

DANIEL CRUMP / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Christie Marsh (left) and Jordyn Denomme try their luck at a ring toss game.

Katie May

Katie May
Reporter

Katie May is a general-assignment reporter for the Free Press.

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