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‘Always trying to do new things’: New Year’s Day celebrations brings thousands to The Forks

The New Year is making way for some new traditions, including a whole new day of festivities at The Forks, where thousands of people came together to mark the first day of 2024.

The outdoor space and indoor marketplace saw thousands of people pass through on the holiday Monday, ringing in the new year during the day instead of the night before.

“We’re always trying to do new things here, The Forks is always trying to do innovative new things,” said Zach Peters, communications and marketing manager.

“A wide variety of activities for people to come down and enjoy,” he added.

Community members had a chance to hit the canopy skating rink, make crafts, and watch a family-friendly drag show.

Peters said community safety was not the reason for the celebration switch, rather it was driven by community feedback.

“It was really about actually doing something different this year trying something new and listening to those survey responses that we get,” Peters said.

The festivities offered some visitors the chance to celebrate with family and friends both near and far.

“We just thought it would be a great time to just celebrate together to be with family to just have lots of, you know, festivities and culture. And there’s lots of great stuff happening here,” said Christina Guenther, visiting from Boissevain.

The New Year’s Day event may have been a Forks first, but featured some long-running traditions.

“We’re having drumming workshops as well as sharing of oral tradition, official stories. And I’ve been doing this for 20 years, my 24th year,” said knowledge keeper Barbara Nepinak.

For those who missed out on the New Year’s Day extravaganza, The Forks has more winter programming planned throughout January and February.

It also hopes to open its outdoor walking paths and river trail soon, but an official date still hasn’t been announced.

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