A bit of morning snow turned the usual impressive desert landscape into something more magical.
Normally a trip up the Red Line to Addison Station means it is baseball season. But not today, with snow on the ground.
For the past few years the area around Wrigley Field has held a Christmas Market. This year they expanded it to include events on the field inside the stadium, calling the festival ‘Winterland’.
The concourses were decorated for the season.
But it was when you popped out of the tunnel onto the field that the real magic happens. We are standing (on plastic flooring) in left field of the best baseball stadium in the world (sorry Boston). Even though it is dormant in the winter, we are next to the famed ivy covered outfield walls.
The giant baseball in front of the equally famous bleachers was for taking selfies.
For enough money you can rent one of the luxury chalets in front of the out of town scoreboard.
There were a number of activities available to participate in.
It was surreal to watch a small kiddie train run around the infield.
A giant Cubby Bear watched over the scene.
A carousel was located outside the stadium in the Christmas Market area.
Least you forget it is still home of the Chicago Cubs!
After 4 months of hanging around the house building wooden toys to avoid the cold, snow and covid, it was time to wander around town for a couple of hours on this cold, sunny Sunday afternoon.
It is time to nose around in the snow…
One cold, lonely deer statue.
A colorful house on a dreary day (actually better than most – there is a bit of sun)
In the summer there are signs all around this pond saying ‘no wading, no swimming’ – no need for those today.
Plenty of bike shares available.
The statues standing sentry at the statehouse.
It feels like a Russian Winter.
Winter – the time of year if the streets aren’t covered in snow they are white from all the salt to melt the snow, and rust the cars.
I have been fortunate enough to have been in all 50 states, and all but 2 provinces of Canada – Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Today’s visit takes us there (obviously all photos will be from the Internet).
Manitoba is home to 1.4 million people, most of which live near Winnipeg. The city has long, cold winters with November through March all having average HIGHS below freezing (32 f/0 c). It is listed as the second sunniest city in Canada, so you have that going for you.
But eventually it does thaw out!
It has a very diverse economy, with no one industry being dominate.
It is the capital of the province, so government is big business.
Winnipeg has the highest population of aboriginal people in all of Canada. The city is 12% Native Canadian
The small, far northern town of Churchill each fall has a migration of polar bears pass through town as they migrate from their summer home to their winter home.
Tours are apparently very popular
Riding Mountain National Park is also in Northern Manitoba, just not nearly as far north.
It is known for it’s bison
As well as the moose
Our final stop – an Indiana Jones nightmare – is the Narcisse Snake Dens. Tens of thousands of red sided garter snakes reside here during the winter before migrating to a nearby swamp.
Let’s move westward to Saskatchewan.
Mining is the largest industry in the province, whereas the finance and insurance industry makes up the largest white collar sector.
As the Guess Who sang, it is time for ‘Running Back to Saskatoon’.
Saskatoon is the largest city with a population of nearly 300,000. The population is fairly diverse.
Much like Winnipeg it is bitterly cold in the winter.
But it too eventually thaws out.
For a city of it’s size it has an excellent collection of architecture.
Regina is the 2nd largest city in the province. It is the provincial capital.
The Prince Edward Theater is a classic old hall.
The First Nations University has incorporated a tepee into the building design.
But our prairie time has come to an end, time to move further west to Alberta tomorrow.
Cleveland has always had a large population of people from throughout eastern Europe, including Slovakia. As a result there are a number of festivals coming from those regions.
For this cold Saturday we went to check out Kurentovanje’ – which is a Slovenian festival to chase away winter. Held at the Slovenian National Home on the east side of Cleveland, the hall was full of activities.
The band was playing polkas. They were very talented, and the audience appreciated it.
Numerous ladies had recently made headdresses
The highlight of the day is the parade. I have found for the best photos it is imperative to go to the staging area as they gather.
I am not really sure about someone sitting on his ‘throne’ with a shield, skull staff and motorcycle helmet, but it was just the beginning of the strangeness (and fun).
This pleasant young lady was soon to become the devil.
There were a number of groups dressed in historic ethnic attire.
The Krampus crowd came back from Christmas.
Another band was warming up, or just trying to stay warm.
The Polish apples?
Finally the parade started…. Slovenian flags were everywhere.
The parade featured all the ethnic groups, as well as the local high school drum and dance team.
The Kurent wranglers were keeping them all in line.
The Kurentovanje Festival and Parade was yet another great celebration. Hopefully they do indeed scare winter away soon.
During the winter of 2010-2011 the Cleveland Indians home stadium, Jacobs Field, held an event called Snow Days where they set up a tube slide, skating path and other winter events in the middle of the field.