People biked, walked and danced their way down Main Street and along Broadway in our first ever Parade of Lights. There was something magical about a Broadway animated just with the lights borne by the moving crowd.
Winnipeg showed Canada once again that it’s the city with the brightest, most vibrant community of people, arts, entertainment and active living – as Broadway was literally transformed into a beautifully lit backdrop of activity on Sept. 7, 8 and 9, as part of the Downtown BIZ’s annual weekend festival, Manyfest.
Being a dad with three kids and working downtown, I enjoyed the way Manyfest helped connect both facets of my life, with my family coming out to enjoy the weather and the plethora of festivities, along with an estimated 38,000 Winnipeggers.
There were many exciting family-friendly activities, like the Broadway Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market, in addition to our newest kid on the block, Minifest – a festival strictly for kids located in our kids’ zone near Memorial Park. AceArt’s soap box derby was dynamic and quirky, having brought out an eclectic and diverse crowd of people, all interested in seeing whose makeshift kart would win.
Endless bustle on Broadway
Billed as “All Together Downtown”, Manyfest certainly had something for everyone – from wine tastings, dancing in the street, a giant movie in the park to a spectacular community-driven light parade followed by an electric retro revival performance featuring Canadian rock band, Harlequin. Broadway became a hub of activity, with people hustling and bustling, as they raced by us to enjoy the show.
My favourite moments were when thousands of people biked, walked and danced their way down Main Street and along Broadway, taking part in our first ever Parade of Lights, lighting up the medians with the illumination they carried. There was something magical about a Broadway animated just with the light borne by the moving crowd of Winnipeggers. You could really feel a sense of community pride and love for our city and our downtown.
What was your favourite Manyfest moment? Tweet me via Twitter at @stefanogrande to share your story! Or visit my blog at stefanogrande.tumblr.com to read more about the downtown and the many festivals and events to come in 2012.
Stefano Grande is executive director of Downtown Winnipeg BIZ.