Bundle up and experience the magic in Winnipeg as the 2022 Christmas Lights Map returns with a new addition this year.
For the third year in a row, Carol Cassell is notifying residents of the houses with the best Christmas decorations in the city so that everyone can enjoy the festive cheer.
Originally, in 2015 Cassell would create a Halloween map for the best-decorated spooky houses in Transcona. It received amazing feedback and that encouraged her to do a Christmas map for the east end of the city as well.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, Cassell upgraded her Christmas Lights Map to include the entire city so that "Everyone in Winnipeg could have something to look forward to doing."
There are 100 pins on the map this year, with 70 submissions and Cassell going out and adding another 30 that she finds decorated enough to qualify for the list.
There are different symbols that represent the intensity of decoration at each location marked.
"So, the Santa hats, those are pins that are very nicely decorated. They're certainly worth the drive if you live in the neighbourhood. The golden stars are the most decorated in the entire city. They are fabulous and they are worth driving across the city to see and the last one is snowflakes. Those are events that are happening throughout the city, like the Zoo Lights, festivals and Lights of the North," says Cassell.
The Transcona resident continues to bring Christmas cheer with the lights map because she finds fulfillment in serving others and it is enjoyable for her. Cassell is a stay-at-home mom, and she says doing this every year helps her do something outside of parenthood.
She also recommends some fabulously decorated houses that people should check out this year.
"In South St. Vital, 275 Aldgate Rd, that is probably the most decorated in the entire city, like every inch of that house has a Christmas light on it and the whole yard is decorated. They're raising money for the Make-A-Wish foundation as well. There's a house on (569) Island Shore Boulevard that has a miniature train running along the yard as well."
Cassell shares that she launched her own website for the Christmas Lights Map, to provide easier access for people to find it. The website also contains maps for a variety of different interests, including winter activities, thrift stores, garage sales and more.
Visit the website at mapping-winnipeg.com.