There was a festive atmosphere at The Forks on Monday as Winnipeg welcomed 2024.
“We call ourselves Winnipeg’s backyard here at the Forks and we sort of see ourselves as that gathering space, so why not gather to kick off the year together?” said Zach Peters, communications manager at The Forks.
Celebrating the New Year at The Forks is a tradition for many but this year things were a bit different. Peters said organizers shifted to hold activities on New Year’s Day instead of New Year’s Eve at the request of families.
“We do annual surveys to the public, and we’ve seen more and more people call for family-friendly programming. So what we’re trying to do is provide that for folks. So we recognize that New Year’s Day, families want to get out, it’s a day off for most people so they’re going to come and celebrate together,” he said.
This meant there were no fireworks this year but some old favourites did remain including AI Simmons’ Sounds Crazy Caboose and other new performances.
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Additionally, Andrew Eastman helped bring in drag brunch this year — which was once a staple of the now-shuttered Tallest Poppy restaurant.
“We’re bringing it back to the Forks. People are already lined up to get their chicken and waffles from the Tallest Poppy pop-up,. They’re cooking down in the market, and we’re going to have eight drag performers, family-friendly entertainment for all,” Eastman said.
Whether guests opt for a show — or maybe a crafting session — Eastman said there’s no shortage of ways to welcome 2024.
“It think they’re going to start the year off right. They’re going to leave with a lot of joy in their hearts, maybe make some new friends, maybe make some beautiful crafts, definitely make a lot of beautiful memories.”
Family-friendly activities like music and storytelling will continue every weekend through January and February as part of Winnipeg’s 150th anniversary celebrations.
— with files from Global’s Katherine Dornian
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