Winnipeggers know winter: NYE at The Forks to continue despite extreme cold

The bitter cold isn‘t putting a chill on Winnipeg‘s New Year‘s Eve celebrations.

In other parts of Canada they‘re cancelling outdoor celebrations because of the cold, but there‘ll be none of that at The Forks.

Winnipeg is a winter city, where we embrace the cold — through many protective layers, said Chelsea Thomson, manager of marketing and communications with The Forks North Portage Partnership.

“Winnipeg is very cold in the wintertime and it‘s something that we are very used to. I think that if we cancelled our plans then we would probably have to cancel winter just in general,” she said.

The party will go on at The Forks with a dance party at the festival rink (by the Winnipeg sign) and DJs performing outdoors. There will be a pyrotechnic show at 8 p.m. for families with little ones who need to go to bed earlier before the fireworks go off at midnight.

There will also be sleigh rides, a painting show on a snow canvas and crafts for the kids.

Despite the frosty weather, the crowds are still expected to be large.

“We believe that Winnipeggers are a pretty hardy bunch and we‘ve provided opportunities for indoor and outdoor opportunities,” Thomson said.

“We hope people will maybe take quick breaks inside to warm up, stay safe and have fun.”

The Forks party may also be putting a new spin on getting dressed up for New Year‘s Eve. Rather than a tuxedo or gown, Thomson suggests people think about wool, cotton and putting on layers. When planning their party getup, people should consider wind protection and how to cover up all of their skin, she added.

“Wool socks are important, a key piece,” Thomson said.

Party-goers are also encouraged to head inside where there will be other activities and another DJ for the dancers.

“Go outside and play for 20 minutes, come inside and warm up, then head outside again,” Thomson said.

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