It’s hard to know where to begin when talking about this year’s Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries ManyFest; I suppose it’s aptly named! Calling it “downtown’s biggest street festival” does paint a pretty good picture. One thing I do know: I know what I’m doing next weekend! For those of you new to ManyFest and feeling a little overwhelmed by the many happenings, here’s the lowdown on the festival, running September 6 to 8 on Broadway, with Memorial Park as the hub:
ManyFest kicks off on Friday at 5pm, so head to Broadway after work for the Wine & Beer Festival, on until 11pm. There’s nothing like sipping a chardonnay under the stars. If you’ve become enchanted like me this summer with watching movies outdoors, you’ll want to bring a blanket or lawn chair to watch the Giant Movie in the Park, “Up”, in Memorial Park, beginning at sundown (about 8pm). And don’t worry, your food cravings will be answered with a variety of munchies –you can even vote for your favourite with the new-this-year Food Truck Wars (not to be confused with food fights?!) A dozen different trucks will be out the whole weekend, starting Friday at 5pm, so you’ll have a chance to taste at least a few.
Now, my personal favourite is Saturday’s Big Dance on Broadway coupled with Lights on Broadway (and a dash of the Wine & Beer Festival, of course! ) The Big Dance is just that: music and dancing in the streets. As the sun sets, the lights come on. The organizers like to change it up each year, but it’s always an awe-inspiring experience strolling down Broadway with a few thousand of your closest friends and the soft glow of lights and candles – yes, real candles!
Throughout the whole weekend, don’t forget to save time (and money) to peruse the Farmers’ and Artisan’s Market. It’s the perfect time of year for fresh veggies.
ManyFest is all about being open to everyone, so it’s no wonder there’s something for all ages. Kids can have fun at their very own festival: MiniFest Kids’ Zone, this year including some activities done by the Manitoba Children’s Museum, on Saturday and Sunday starting at 11am.
After two days of food trucks, wine and beer, you can work it all off on Sunday. (And after a night of dancing on concrete, you’ll be happy for an excuse to wear your runners all day.) For you fitness buffs, there is still time to sign-up for the Winnipeg 10 and 10, which offers various race options–even for a fair-weather runner like me. Anyone wanting to try their hand at yoga or zumba or a variety of other fitness activities can do so for free right on Broadway during Ciclovia. This healthy-living, eco-friendly event runs all day Sunday (11am-6pm), with a bunch of cool activities like a climbing wall, soap box derby and street hockey.
All weekend long you can do as I plan to do: ride my bike to Broadway, use the free bike valet, then feel perfectly justified in partaking in the Wine & Beer Festival and more Food Truck War goodies (after all, in the interest of fair judging, I will have to sample them all!)
The Wine & Beer Festival runs all weekend long, and with no admission fee, you’re free to come and go (though your bevvie is not free to “go” with you!) So those are the many events of ManyFest! Can’t wait to see you there!
For more info, visit http://www.manyfest.ca