It’s a New Year’s Day tradition older than Saskatchewan itself, but one that more than 1,000 take in every year.
On Saturday, Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Solomon Schofield opened up Government House in Regina to the public, allowing hundreds of the traditional and the curious into the building to exchange New Year’s wishes.
The event began in the 1880’s when then-Lieutenant Governor Edgar Dewdney first opened the building up for a New Year’s Day Levee, and has continued for most of the years since.
New Year's Eve celebrations can go far beyond some people's bedtimes, so families were able to celebrate 2014 earlier as the Saskatchewan Science Centre hosted 'Noon Year's Eve.'
"We thought it would be a great idea (to come to the science centre) because our daughter's only two," said Mike Rilling, "She can't make it up until midnight with us tonight so we thought this would be something she'd enjoy."
Many families did the same as well over 100 people crowded the exhibit floor, exploring the stage shows, face painting, snowshoeing and other activities.
The Salvation Army's annual Christmas Kettle campaign in Saskatoon fell a few thousand dollars short of their goal in 2013.
The familiar fundraiser, known for its ringing bells and red collection containers, brought in just shy of $253,000 this Christmas season. That's short of their goal of $275,000, and much less than the 2012 total of nearly $300,000.
"It seems that the majority are down slightly" said Salvation Army Executive Director Malba Holliday, "everywhere; not just in Saskatchewan, but in other provinces as well."
It's a message we hear every year at this time but somehow there are a lot of people who manage not to heed it.
"You should not drink and drive," insisted Regina Police Service Chief Troy Hagen at the launch of the city's "Ding in the New Year" campaign earlier this month. The annual effort allows Reginans to ride city buses for free on New Year's Eve. Mayor Michael Fougere said a lot of people have taken the free rides in the past, which is why the program keeps coming back.
The City of Regina is looking to reward helpful neighbours who keep sidewalks clear during the winter.
The Snowbusters program will recognize volunteers who help clear their neighbour's sidewalks.
"For those who help out those neighbours in need, those who have disabilities or can't get out to do their own sidewalk, will be entered into a contest and at the end of the year they can win a snow blower," said Mayor Michael Fougere as he announced the new program Monday morning.
While some people will be ringing in the New Year in Saskatoon, others will be dancing it in.
The 8th Annual Latin New Year's Eve Fiesta is planned for Tuesday night at the Albert Community Centre.
"We're going to have a Latin dance floor and a salsa and bachata dance floor, so people can come into either one," said Carmen Gonza, director of Danza Morena Latin Dance Academy in Saskatoon.
She said the fiesta has previous been held at TCU Place, but they decided to switch venues this year so more families could come.
It’ll be something like a live version of a mixed tape made completely from Regina’s music scene.
It’s the second year that 13th Avenue Records will put on a “Rendezvous” show, a showcase of nine different bands on the Regina label all with different musical styles.
But according to organizer and President of 13th Ave. Records Chris Prpich, each band has a distinctly Saskatchewanian flavour that brings them all together to form a community ripe with talent.
There’s only one big night left in the first holiday season for Regina’s Operation Red Nose, and volunteers are expecting it to be their busiest one yet.
So far volunteers have given 116 free rides to party goers throughout the holiday season—something chairman Edward Edwards said is encouraging in the projects inaugural year.
When everything seemed bleak, families who rallied around one Saskatoon woman changed her life.
“I met some amazing families, heard some amazing stories,” said Deanna Constantinoff.
“Parents were with their children waiting for hearts, kidneys and people who have sold their homes and had to move to the Ronald McDonald House because they had to live there so it put my situation in perspective.”
Soul’s Harbour Rescue Mission was serving up more than just a Christmas dinner at Zeke’s Place on Dewdney Avenue Saturday afternoon.
Around 75 volunteers gathered to serve free plates of turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing to the community, all of it made from donations to Soul’s Harbour holiday fundraising drive.
“It was delicious,” said Gloria Crevier, who was one of the first to sit down for the meal. “I enjoyed it and I got my turkey filling.”