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Thursday November 23rd, 2017

Posted at 9:00am

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Winterfest comes to Downtown Windsor this Saturday.

Residents and visitors are invited to revel in the festivities as hundreds of parade participants line Ouellette Avenue from Giles to Pitt to celebrate the season of giving at 3pm.

Just before the parade, at 1 to 2:30pm, the Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society is hosting its Teddy Bear Holiday Bear Jam at the Capitol Theatre for the first time.

A fundraiser for its holiday program, WECAS has invited Dan the Music Man to entertain families during this fun, interactive party; kids can bring their teddy bears or other plush animals, and are welcome to attend the afterglow event, where Christmas cookies will be served. “It’s going to be a memorable, happy event that families can participate in right before the parade,” says WECAS public relations manager Mike Clark. Tickets are available at eventbrite.ca.

Toronto Blue Jays legend Ernie Whitt serves as this year’s Grand Marshal; thanks to CUPE Windsor, fans will be able to meet the celebrity athlete between 1:30 and 2:30pm at the Coffee Exchange where he’ll be speaking with fans and autographing photos and baseball paraphernalia.

Along the parade route, visitors will discover other special surprises, including a kiosk at the corner of University and Ouellette hosted by Thyme Kitchen, a newcomer to the downtown core. Thyme Kitchen will be offering homemade cinnamon sugar donuts in the spirit and shape of the beloved Beavertail. A sister restaurant to Walkerville-area shop Thyme to Go, Thyme Kitchen is “so excited to be a part of the downtown core, and Winter Fest is the perfect time for us to get to know our neighbours and meet our new friends,” says company spokesperson Ashley Crawford.

A hop, skip and a jump away, Local CUPE 543 and the Downtown Mission have partnered together to offer hot chocolate and cookies (to be served by MPP Lisa Gretzky), while promoting their newest social enterprise program, Deli To Go, which serves to train those who have sought the assistance of the Downtown Mission who are seeking new skills and training in the food industry.

Beyond the hot chocolate, the Local is delighted to participate in the parade as it has for a number of years, with an extra special contribution for 2017. “(Local 543) has been actively involved for a number of years, starting off small and growing each year,” says WDCC president Jessie Simonetti. “Its Candy Train hands out 32,000 pieces of candy every year.

For more Christmas activities this weekend in Windsor and Essex County, check the Christmas Guide.

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