Manitobans gather at legislature to kick off province's 150th anniversary celebrations
Display of 300,000 lights "signals the very bright future of Manitoba," says organizer
Manitobans headed to the legislative building on Saturday to kick off a celebration of the province's upcoming 150th birthday by tobogganing, snowshoeing and taking pictures with the Grey Cup.
Monique LaCoste, co-chair of the Manitoba 150 host committee, said Illuminate 150 marked the start of a 150-day countdown to May 12, 2020 — the 150-year anniversary of the day the province was created.
"It's a great way for us to signal the fact that this year is going to be very special, very dynamic, and we can't wait for people to be a part of it," said LaCoste.
People gathered on the legislative grounds Saturday afternoon for the event, which included snowmobile acrobatics with X Games athletes, snow tubing and the flip of a switch on a light display of 300,000 bulbs.
"The whole idea of lighting up the legislature grounds is just to signal to Manitobans that we are in for a really special year," said LaCoste. "Lights say celebration, and it also signals the very bright future of Manitoba."
LaCoste said the celebrations have been months in the making, and will continue throughout 2020. The light installations will remain in place until July 2020.
Micah Desforges said the snowmobile show he helped create was a big deal — for the province, and for some of the athletes.
"It's the first time that we're going to see this type of show right in front of the legislative building," he said. "Some of the athletes are from Winnipeg and from Manitoba, and for them it represents an opportunity to showcase their passion and that's really what we're about."