Canada Day celebration sites spring up despite rain

Rain or shine, Manitobans are going to get their patriotic party on this Canada Day in Winnipeg.

Winnipeg aims again to create 'largest living flag'

Rain or shine, Manitobans are going to get their patriotic party on this Canada Day. 1:54

Rain or shine, Manitobans are going to get their patriotic party on this Canada Day in Winnipeg.

On Tuesday, Winnipeg tried to create the country's largest living flag with the help of 2,500 volunteers.

Stefano Grande, executive director of the Downtown BIZ, said it's a massive undertaking.

"Believe it or not, behind the scenes, it's quite a technical process," he said.

"We actually have engineers that are out there right now that are marking out the size of the flag where the reds are going to go, where the whites are going to go. Then we corral people into corners of whites, corners of red, different volumes and then we flow them into those spaces."

Grande said they needed between three and 5,000 people to have a shot at winning.

Assiniboine Park festivities

Crews were out at Assiniboine Park on Monday, putting the finishing touches on one of Tuesday's big event locations.

The park’s Picnic in the Park lineup includes live entertainment and a citizenship ceremony, as well as fireworks at night.

Those who were on hand for the setup were hopeful that the weather won't keep people from coming out.

"We've had upwards of 80,000 to 100,000 people and hopefully the weather stays good," Canad Inns chief executive officer Paul Robson told CBC News.

"We survived a terrible winter and Manitobans are very hardy, so I expect a big crowd tomorrow."

Fireworks still a go

There are many places in the city to take in firework displays or show off your maple leaf at concerts and parties, and The Forks ranks high on the list.

Environment Canada predicts a 30 per cent chance of showers on Tuesday, and the party planners at The Forks hope the forecast doesn’t put a damper on celebrations.

This masked hero says rain or shine, he will be out and about for Canada Day festivities in Winnipeg on Tuesday. (CBC)
"Unless there are high torrential winds or thunderstorms and lighting, we generally carry on," said Clare MacKay, a spokesperson with The Forks.

Event organizers are gearing up for live shows at three stages and fireworks at dusk.

"In the entire 10 years I've been here, we've only had to postpone once," said MacKay. "Something magical always seems to happen on Canada Day, so we'll carry on."

Also hosting fireworks on Canada Day is the St. Norbert Farmers' Market on the southern outskirts of Winnipeg. It is having a barbecue, bands and children's activities starting at noon.

Osborne Village

And the show will go on in Osborne Village, which hosts a big Canada Day block party every year.

Several hundred people already started celebrating on Monday evening as crews closed part of Osborne Street to traffic and the outdoor patios, food vendors and entertainers took over the block.

"Rain or shine, we adapt to the weather," said Stephanie Meilleur with the Osborne Village BIZ.

"Come on out, bring your ponchos and your rain boots if it's going to be raining."

Vendors like Mark Langtry said they hope the weather stays dry so the crowds will come out.

"You never know. It might hold off," Langtry said as he set up his Habanero Sombrero taco truck.

"There's little patches of blue. We just hope for those patches."

Either way, if Manitobans are as hearty as Robson says, rain won't get in the way of a party.

What's open, what's closed on Canada Day

  • City of Winnipeg leisure centres, library branches and indoor swimming pools are closed on Canada Day, but outdoor pools, wading pools and spray pads are open.
  • Garbage, recycling and yard waste pickup is as scheduled.
  • The Brady Road landfill is open from 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Winnipeg Transit is operating on a Sunday schedule. Check Winnipeg Transit's website for information about Canada Day shuttle services.
  • City-run golf courses are open.
  • The Winnipeg Parking Authority is closed.
  • McPhillips Station Casino and Club Regent are open.
  • Polo Park, St. Vital, Kildonan Place, Grant Park, Garden City, Portage Place and cityplace shopping centres are closed.
  • Many Manitoba Liquor Marts locations are open. Store hours vary.