Celebrating National Coffee Day

Let’s have a quick discussion about coffee. Actually let’s have a really long, drawn out discussion about. I’m not sure if I’m the only one who walks the streets of downtown and realizes we have a lot of amazing, world class coffee places.

Just today, I drove for five minutes and passed by four amazing spots, Second Cup, Fools and Horses, Thom Bargen, and The Fyxx. It’s a long story, but I was touring the downtown in this cute BMW convertible from NOTT Autocorp as they are really supporting a push to explore the downtown. It hit me as I was deciding to grab a little “pick me up” that there’s a lot of options of a caffeine fix downtown!

I’ve come to the conclusion that our growth in coffee houses, breweries, and our outstanding restaurants is what’s leading the way for Winnipeg to get all sorts of international attention. For me, the thing that puts a place over the top is if the coffee tastes good black. I’m also a fan of great art on the wall, a cute corner to sit in, and the ability to people watch as I sit and write my blogs and tweet about life downtown.

You’ll typically find me on a Monday afternoon at Fools and Horses on Broadway sitting on the patio in summer. As the season changes I’ll move inside and enjoy an Americano while sitting in the back of the coffee house.

Wednesday I frequent the Second Cup on Graham. I love that it is a locally owned franchise and all the flavoured coffees are delicious. It’s a great place to meet outside the office as the place is massive, and it’s perfect for brainstorming and coming up with strategies to improve business. It’s been a hot spot for me to come up with blog collaborations.

On Saturday morning, there are few places that I love as much as Thom Bargen. You can sit back, relax and reflect on a great week. The coffee tastes great black and you can sit in the corner on their long bench and read a book, surf online, or simply pull out your laptop and write.

Every single coffee house in this city has amazing home baked options for snacks. I won’t even begin to list off the things I love at each place. If you need a doughnut, piece of cake, a muffin, toast or anything delicious you can find both your snack and a place to sit, any day of the week.

So I’m curious Winnipeg, where do you go?

Let’s take this conversation to social media, tag @downtownpeggy and tell me where you go, and why it’s special. I’m looking for surprises! We have Stella’s at Plug In, Fools and Horses at The Forks, Starbucks, Tim Hortons and so much more. I’ve even had a great cup of coffee at the Hotel Fort Garry. So let’s chat about your spot! You know I love spreading the word about the great places in downtown Winnipeg.

Surprise me with your favourite downtown coffee shop, or tell me why you love the spots I’ve mentioned and you may just win a gift card from your favourite spot!

See you downtown,

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Downtown Bro Date Ideas

Can we just all agree that downtown Winnipeg is just about the best place to hang out and relax for an afternoon? You have the Jets in winter and the Goldeyes in summer, The Forks all year with the most amazing atmosphere and shops to grab things you won’t find anywhere else, and in the downtown you’ll find some of the best restaurants in the world waiting to feed you.

Have you met my new friend Jordan Cieciwa? He’s the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s new Ambassador of Health and Happiness. Myself, Jordan, and his friend and camera guy Jaremy Ediger headed out for an afternoon and evening of entertainment downtown recently.

Jordan works with NOTT Autocorp when he’s driving around downtown making his wellness videos, so we saw an opportunity to have a little fun in his car, and test Jaremy’s photo skills.

First we checked out The Forks. Jordan is guilty heading to The Forks only when they have events going on. Immediately I saw my chance to convert yet another Winnipegger into a “True Forks Believer”. You have to go people watch and check out the stores that have amazing artwork, unique clothing, and just about everything else including bicycles that scream “Winnipeg”.  It also gave Jaremy a chance to take a couple cool photos.

Photo by Jaremy Ediger

Even though I could walk and shop at The Forks forever, we had places to be and a fancy car to drive, so we zoomed off in style to our next stop, food at “La Roca“.

We found a pretty solid place to hang out with friends at La Roca. I’m not going to lie to you, the best part of La Roca is the amount of cheese in their quesadillas; well, that and the amount of people in the place having a great time. We were heading to the Goldeyes game next, and we weren’t the only ones there getting ready for the Goldeyes to be champs again. Lots of people in the place were gearing up for a good time downtown, and as always with La Roca, the atmosphere was electric.

We finished our food paid our tab and chalked another win up for La Roca. From there, things got real.

Real rainy that is.

We headed over to Shaw Park where we got the terrible news, game cancelled due to rain.

Photo by Jaremy Ediger

For those of you who don’t know, the Goldeyes just won their second title in two years and their third since 2012. The Winnipeg Goldeyes are the American Association Champs back to back, 2016 and 2017!

This team is a well oiled machine: they play with pride, and they play to win. There are a ton of cities in the states that know about Winnipeg because our baseball team crushes them each and every year, but who’s counting right? We were! Huge congrats to the Goldeyes. Even though you didn’t entertain us this night, you came through in the end. History was written, and the events leading up to the win were so “storybook” that even Sports Illustrated took note. The Winnipeg Goldeyes are famous!

However for our day downtown, we now had a bit of a gap.

As it turns out, Jaremy is full of fun facts about Downtown Winnipeg so he took us to some of his favourite spots to share some local history. As a guy that loves the music and entertainment scene, Jaremy has walked most of the downtown to see a ton of local bands and he blew our minds with a couple facts.

Photo by Jaremy Ediger

There was a team decision made that we are going to start a regular trivia segment on Instagram. The downtown is simply the coolest, and it should be celebrated.  So, speaking of celebrations, we want to see where you party… specifically where you partied to celebrate the Winnipeg Goldeyes winning the second title in two years. The best celebration selfie wins $100 at La Roca. I believe everyone needs to get down there to try their amazing food! Enter to win now by sharing your selfie on Facebook (find the post and share your photo in the comments), Twitter on Instagram by September 30th at 4pm. Tag me @downtownpeggy to enter!

See you downtown,

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Thick Cut Bacon And An Epic Concert – That’s Downtown Living

If you are into delicious food, a brand new restaurant just opened up at 285 Portage called Tipsy Cow. I’m not telling you that you have to eat there, but I’m telling every person I meet how amazing the Thick Cut Candied Bacon is. It’s where I fueled up before Interstellar Rodeo, and I’m trying to figure out if I can somehow eat there twice a day for the rest of my life. Pro tip, try combining Little Brown Jug 1919, TC Candy Bacon, and the Winnipeg Burger; that’s the good life and you can only find it downtown.

When you walk into Tipsy Cow you know it’s going to be good. There’s a bar in the front ready to get you started with a local drink, or you can get seated right away and get some amazing starters for you and your group/date. Tipsy Cow is a simple place to get a good burger, and a beer and then get on to an amazing venue downtown.

I personally went from a burger to watching Beck rock the house at the Forks. This is an artist I’ve been waiting to see since 1997 and he lit up the stage and the crowd. Even the hipsters said he was cool and couldn’t help but dance a little as this master of the stage entertained a full house.

The Forks is always an option for entertainment. If you missed Interstellar Rodeo this year, make sure you plan to be there next year. Also, add The Forks to your favourites list and follow them on Instagram and TwitterThe Forks always has something going on in their events section. 

Add Tipsy Cow to your Winnipeg “must eat” list, perfect before a game at MTS, a concert, or just because your working downtown and working makes you hungry. I’m certain this restaurant will make your day complete; they have beer and bacon, the rest is a bonus.

SHARE this post on Facebook or Twitter and you will be entered to win a $50 gift certificate to Tipsy Cow (enter by August 27 to be entered to win).

See you downtown,

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Llama Tell You All You Need To Know About Folklorama

The 48th annual Folklorama— Canada’s largest and longest-running multicultural festival of its kind in the world–kicked off the two-week festival downtown with a party on Saturday night.

The pavilions open August 6 and are located across the city and include the RBC Convention Centre. Festival travel guides and maps can be found here.

It might be smart to start planning your Folklorama route now. You’ll want to maximize the entertainment and culinary delights you take in during the next two weeks. There will be added excitement as our guests from the Canada Summer Games are part of the Folklorama fanfare and will be likely experiencing the festival for the first time.

Starting downtown at the RBC Convention Centre is a great way to divide the city into quadrants and head out for your Folklorama fun. May we suggest buying tickets online–a new feature this year*. If you want to explore multiple pavilions in one evening, joining a VIP Tour is the way to go. Experience a VIP Tour by walking, cycling or motor coach. Folklorama’s VIP Tours include two or three pavilions and allow you to bypass the line, reserved seating with table service, and a delicious and authentic progressive meal. To explore the VIP Tours and buy online, visit folklorama.ca. Or if you want plan a spontaneous evening out! Round up your family and friends and enjoy dinner and a show!

And be sure to follow the Folklorama on social media, tag your posts #myfolklorama and share this fantastic festival Winnipeg is proud to host year after year. Powered by dedicated volunteers, Folklorama is a great way to share our city’s diversity with your family, friends, and any out of town guests traveling through Winnipeg.

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*ADVANCE ONLINE TICKETS ON SALE NOW!
Please note:
  • Purchase single admission tickets ($6.00) to select pavilions at folklorama.ca in advance.
  • Advance online tickets will be available starting July 3, 2017 at 9:00 a.m.
  • Purchase advance online tickets up to 9:00 a.m. on the day you would like to attend.
  • Advance online tickets are specific to pavilion and show times.
  • Once purchased, advance online tickets may not be exchanged for another pavilion, date or showtime and are non-refundable.

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Mother’s Day 2017: Meet You Downtown

This weekend is Mother’s Day and there are wonderful ways to celebrate the moms in your life at one of these events happening around downtown Winnipeg.

The Return of Evelyn Hart in Vespers

Internationally-acclaimed Canadian ballet icon Evelyn Hart joins the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in the world premiere of James Kudelka’s Vespers, a new ballet choreographed to Claudio Monteverdi’s ‘Vespers, 1610’.

Vespers means “evening prayer” and has stood the test of time for over four hundred years- a true testament to the music’s remarkable power. Vespers combines dramatic atmospheres with creative classical ballet technique, contemporary styles and perspectives on relationships, nature and the spiritual world.

Claudio Monteverdi’s stunning score is performed by a live choir accompanied by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Vespers is alive with vibrant character, colour and texture with all the richness of a renaissance painting. This emotionally powerful ballet features iconic ballerina Evelyn Hart in a role created especially for her.

I recently had the opportunity to see this wonderful show and was thrilled to see the iconic Evelyn Hart make her return to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet for this world premiere. This show will leave you in awe and will even provide you with a little bit of laughter!

Vespers runs May 10-14. For show times and ticket information, please see the RWB box office and website.

 

Picasso in Canada

Opening this weekend–get ready for Manitoba’s first major showcase of work by Pablo Picasso in over 40 years. This summer, the WAG presents Picasso in Canada and Picasso: Man and Beast, two exhibitions highlighting the many sides of Picasso, who remains one of the greatest artists of all time.

As part of the WAG’s Canada 150 celebrations, Picasso in Canada brings together 35 artworks by the artist, including paintings, watercolours, drawings, prints, and ceramic works. Drawn from art museums across Canada and private collections, the exhibition spans five decades of Picasso’s artistic production, offering a range of well-known themes and images, including intimate portraits of five of Picasso’s lovers. Among these pieces is Seated Woman, arguably the most renowned painting by Picasso in a Canada.

For show details and tour information, please visit picasso.wag.ca.

Meet You At The Library For A Movie

On Sunday, May 14, at the Millennium Library treat yourself and mom to this much talked about film based on Rosalie Ham’s bestselling novel of the same name. The Dressmaker is the story of femme fatale Tilly Dunnage who returns to her small hometown in the country to right the wrongs of the past. A stylish drama with comic undertones about love, revenge and haute couture. 119 min. Rated PG. Showtime is 2:00PM – 4:00PM.

BONUS IDEAS:

If you and mom are working on your FitBit competitive levels, consider lacing up those walking shoes and taking in The Loop as presented by Tourism Winnipeg. This fantastic tour takes you through Winnipeg’s best and most iconic spots and at your own pace. Download the map here, plan your noshing spots, and get out and enjoy this beautiful city with mom on her special day.

Artisan Craft Sale at the Marlborough Hotel

Sure you’re invited to brunch but then stay and shop at one of Canada’s historic landmarks in the heart of city.

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Downtown Winnipeg Welcomes Third + Bird!

Third + Bird puts on two major markets a year during the Spring and Fall and this year’s markets are headed to the Hudson’s Bay downtown for the first time ever!

Their markets are a juried show, selecting the best, top, local brands which provide products from local vendors for every demographic including: men’s, ladies, kids, accessories, home decor, art, skin care, and so much more!

Spring Market –  May 6th between 10 am – 6 pm (general admission at the door)

Fall Market – Last full weekend in November, this year November 24 – 26

Third + Bird has brought out over 6,500 people to recent markets and they are now ready to bring that energy downtown! Join the community and enjoy the Third + Bird market this Saturday where you’ll see over 110 local businesses and their amazing products.

I recently visited their new location at the Hudson’s Bay Downtown and got a sneak peak of some of  vendors that will be joining the Market this weekend! Here are just a few of the ones that you can expect to see:

Tiny Inspirations

Stylish necklaces for mom and safe teething accessories for baby. Modern designs for the modern family. Teething rings, pacifier clips and more.

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Kate + Norah Co.

Kate + Norah Co. makes handcrafted products which follow a minimalistic approach with a conscious effort to be sustainable, natural and eco-friendly.

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Little Box of Rocks

Little Box of Rocks sells thoughtful gifts for every occasion – thinking of you, words of encouragement, birthday gifts, anniversary gifts and much more.

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Naked Skincare & Apothecary

Naked is a small batch apothecary production founded by Amber Magus. Inspired by the simplicity and beauty of nature, she has created a minimalist, all natural, 100% good stuff line and believes that when it comes to your skin, less is more.

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Huron Woodwork

Huron Woodwork, a tribute to the places we call home. Whether it is their flagship Manitoba pieces or that unique piece that adds a special touch to your own home, their hand-cut, handcrafted products are made with love.

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Barletta Beeswax

Barletta Beeswax specializes in quality, hand-dipped and poured, 100% pure beeswax candles and related products using locally sourced wax and fine cotton wicking. Offering beeswax candles in all shapes & sizes: the classics (tea lights; votives; tapers; pillars); and lots of fun & elegant shapes (swirls; animals; flowers and pinecones,etc).

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In addition to all these amazing vendors, Third + Bird will feature beautiful art installations, a cafe with good food and eats, womens co-op from Nepal table, and cookie + raffle tables!

For a complete list of vendors at this year’s Third + Bird markets visit, Vendors – THIRD + BIRD.

See you downtown,

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Spring Break Downtown: Highlights and Must-Dos

As the clock strikes 3:30 today, could you hear the cheering of voices from the children all around Winnipeg?

Spring Break is up next week, and there is no shortage of fun and amusement available throughout downtown Winnipeg.

Here’s our list of must-do events during Spring Break:

FESTIVAL OF FOOLS

Festival of Fools is free family event held at The Forks during spring break week. This 7-day free family festival features jugglers, clowns, acrobats, swinging trapeze and circus workshops and tons of hilarious shows! In addition to funding support from The Forks and the Winnipeg Arts Council, the WICF solicits donations at the event to both present the best in family entertainment and to keep the festival affordable for everyone! Did we mention it’s FREE?! And with The Common now at The Forks, it’s easy to make a day of it. Food options for even the most picky eater and of course, flights of craft beer for the adults.

Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Saturday, March 25 to Sunday, April 2, 2017

Bring your family and join us in special activities taking place throughout spring break! Spring break programming starts Saturday, March 25 and ends Sunday, April 2, 2017. All activities and special events are included in the cost of admission.

Special offer: Kids 12 and under get in free from March 25 – April 2, 2017.

More information available on CMHR website.

 

MANITOBA MUSEUM

March 25 – April 2 • Open daily 10 am – 5 pm
Meet you at the museum for a week of fun activities in the newly renovated and expanded Alloway Hall and the debut of a brand new Planetarium show.

  • Portraits of the North: Drawings by Gerald KuehlGet inspiration from Portraits of the North exhibit and experiment with different drawing techniques at our portrait station.
  • Crafts and hands-on activities – Create and decorate a miniature birch bark paper basket and decorate it with your own designs or create a Red River friendship bracelet.
  • Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre – Get up close to the live animal displays (Mon, Wed & Fri 1:00 – 4:00 pm)
  • Take the 10 Things Challenge – Try and do all 10 activities at the Museum before the end of Spring Break including boarding the Nonsuch, exploring the Dino Dig and building a race car.
  • Meet BMO the Bear (Tue & Thurs at 1:30 & 3:30)

Towne Theatre

After visiting downtown shops and restaurants, how about taking in a movie? Beauty and the Beast and other exciting movie experiences are waiting for you and your family at The Towne. Check showtimes here.

 

Millennium Library

Reading with Raptors

Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 2:00PM – 2:45PM

Registration is required for this event.

Owls and falcons will be swooping in to the library with staff from the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.  Staff will bring an owl or falcon and together we will read stories and learn interesting facts about these wondrous birds.  For children ages 6 years and older.  Younger siblings may attend if accompanied by an adult.

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No matter what you do this spring break have fun exploring and experiencing our downtown and all it has to offer your family!

 

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Delicious Honey, Coming Straight from your Neighbourhood

For centuries, honey has been known as “nature’s gold” for its great taste and amazing health benefits such as the prevention of heart disease, reducing throat irritation, and the healing of wounds. How amazing is that! Honey is definitely a favourite of mine and when I found out that we had hives here in downtown Winnipeg, I was super excited to find out more!

Chris Kirouac, the founder of Beeproject Apiaries, started his company as an experimental project, as the bee community and the ability to extract a pure and natural food from them, piqued his curiosity. He now refers to it as his out of control hobby!

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Chris initially started out with five hives and he and his wife now maintain over 140 in the Gimli/Winnipeg area, including some in our very own downtown. Last year, Beeproject produced Neighbourhood Honey by beehives kept on the Manitoba Hydro Place rooftop, where they fit perfectly with the sustainability mindset that the building was created with. While downtown, these bees discreetly pollinated local flowers in their search for local pollen and nectar.

One of the many great things about Beeproject is that they promote urban beekeeping and are committed to using sustainable methods by using organic techniques of hive management whenever possible.

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With its great taste and amazing health benefits, it is sad to see that the honey bee population is globally declining with over a third of the population disappearing over the last five years. What this means is that our agriculture is in serious danger. More than 130 fruits and vegetables that make up a nutritious diet, depend on the cross-pollination of honey bees.

Urban settings such as the rooftop of the Manitoba Hydro Place are ideal for honey bees, as they are shielded from the many bee-killing pesticides linked to industrial agriculture, while also gaining more days for pollinating due to warmth and wind protection.

The Urban Pollination Project, an initiative created by the Beeproject, is generating awareness about these issues and continues to promote urban beekeeping which is so great for these honey bees and our downtown! Find out more by visiting their website at http://www.beeproject.ca.

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WHERE TO FIND BEEPROJECT HONEY: Beeproject’s creamed honey can be purchased at a number of retailers throughout the city, while their Neighbourhood Honey can only be purchased directly through their website or exclusively through Parlour Coffee and Chew Restaurant.

We also have some exciting news to share! Beeproject will be opening a storefront in the Osborne area this Spring (launch is TBA). Be sure to check them out!

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FUN FACTS:

  • Neighbourhood honey which is produced in urban settings has subtle fruity and floral notes and both the flavour and colour changes throughout the season as the dominant type of flower changes.
  • Natural raw honey will crystallize over time and if you prefer your honey to be softer or liquid in consistency, simply warm your honey to the desired consistency. You can also enjoy it in the solid form with all its flavour and health benefits fully intact.
  • If stored appropriately (with the lid on and only clean cutlery used in the jars), it should last forever!
  • Honey is great to include in hot beverages like tea or coffee, on fresh baking or paired with soft/ fresh cheeses. Raw honey easily replaces refined sugar in many recipes.

Craving some honey yet? I have the perfect solution. Share this blog post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag both @BeeProjectCa and @DowntownWpgBIZ. You will receive one free jar of Beeproject’s Neighbourhood Honey (produced on the rooftop of Manitoba Hydro Place) while supplies last!

See you downtown,

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Winter Fun Downtown

There is never any shortage of winter fun in our downtown. For all ages, there is always a way to take in the fun of the chilly days and nights and enjoy Winnipeg winters at their best.

Here are a few events taking place this weekend downtown:

Million Dollar Quartet

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Wonderful Wedding Show Comes to RBC Convention Centre

The proposal. The ring. The planning. When a wedding is in your immediate future everything becomes research—your last hotel stay, every other wedding you attend, every cupcake, donut, or pie, and even dress shopping becomes a second job.

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The Wonderful Wedding Show takes place January 21 and 22 at the RBC Convention Centre. This annual event is the largest single source of information available about Winnipeg wedding services, featuring the city’s leading wedding professionals. With over 300 displays and 130,000 square feet of the latest must-have wedding fashions and trends, wedding products and services, and much more, every couple can explore the ways to make their wedding dream come true. One lucky couple will even win a DREAM WEDDING!

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Make a day of the Wonderful Wedding Show. Start by meeting up with your bridal party at a downtown restaurant or coffee shop to plan your route throughout the show over brunch or appetizers. When you enter the RBC Convention Centre be sure to get your copy of V.I.B Weddings Magazine, a magazine for the Very Important Bride!  V.I.B. Weddings features local content and real weddings highlighting products and services from Wonderful Wedding Show vendors that will inspire couples with ideas and has a special Show Guide section with Exhibitor Listing, floor plan and editorial about the show.

Downtown Winnipeg is a regular spotlight in local urban weddings. Whether downtown Winnipeg is the backdrop for wedding photos, or where the wedding reception is held, to where couples book their honeymoon suites in one of many iconic hotels, there are so many wonderful spots, corners, and signature spaces that hold special memories for Winnipeg couples. Take advantage of our fantastic downtown scenery and architecture to make your wedding memories uniquely Winnipeg. Tag us in your Wonderful Wedding Show photos on Insta and Twitter with #finditdowntown and enjoy planning your special day!

Top left, clockwise: Photo credit @blackandgoldphoto; Inspiration Gallery 2016 winning table by Just In Couture Designer Planning & Luxury Décor, photo credit Wonderful Wedding Show; Bottom left: Wedding planning by Like A Star Weddings, photo credit @nghiatranphotography. All photos used with permission.

Don’t miss out on these key daily features:

Brides’ Lounge with performances by Danny Kramer Dance Band at 1:30 & 3:30pm daily

Eph Apparel Grooms’ Lounge – Grooms-to-be can even enter for a chance to win the Ultimate Sports Prize Package

Inspiration Gallery – 2,500 sq ft of inspiration!

Fashion Show – 12:30 & 4:30pm daily

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Purchase tickets in advance to be entered for a chance to win a FREE vacation courtesy of LA Travel Group, Air Canada Vacation, and Palace Resorts. Trip value up to $6,000. Includes flights, transfers, hotel, & taxes. Click here for more prize details

Tickets available at http://wonderfulweddingshow.com/tickets/

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