Canad Inns keeps holiday tradition glowing

By Mathias Leiendecker

Cars drive through holiday light displays at this year’s Canad Inns Winter Wonderland, located at the Red River Exhibition Park./ @CanadNation on Twitter

Kiara Kerwin says she can’t wait to settle into the front seat of her car with a hot drink and marvel at the Canad Inns Winter Wonderland light show.

“It means more to me to just be able to get out of the house,” said Kerwin, a construction management student at RRC. “Usually around this time I would be visiting with family and friends, so it’s still a nice Christmas activity to enjoy.”

Kerwin said despite the heightened rules to keep everyone safe, this year’s event is still so important to her.

“It may not be what we are used to, but it’s still a nice holiday activity to be able to partake in,” she said. 

The attraction is now open after originally cancelling this year’s event due to COVID-19 restrictions. It’s the largest light show in Manitoba and includes over 1 million lights through a 2.5 km route at the Red River Exhibition Park.

“We think it’s important that we continue doing some of these family tradition things that the community has enjoyed for so many years,” said Garth Rogerson, CEO of the Red River Exhibition Association. 

This 21-year-old event is a holiday staple for some RRC students, who appreciate the tradition that much more after the difficulties of this past year. 

“I went almost every year growing up,” said Brooklyn Taylor, an RRC graphic design student. “It will be nice to go and experience some sort of holiday familiarity.” 

This year, Canad Inns Winter Wonderland has some new rules to meet Manitoba health guidelines. This includes arriving with only members from your immediate household and remaining in your vehicle at all times.

COVID-19 restrictions also means slashing some popular activities such as food stations, sleigh rides, and skating. 

“I used to get mini donuts and go skating with my family, it sucks we won’t be able to,” said Taylor. “I’m just glad we can still get out of the house and see the lights.” 

Manitoba remains in critical level (red) restrictions over the holiday season, so Taylor and Kerwin both appreciate the light show opening to safely continue a holiday tradition.  

Canad Inns Winter Wonderland is now open every night from 6 to 10 p.m. until Jan. 2, 2021. Tickets are available online and at the entrance gate.