What is a social?
A social is a social, fundraising party to make money, often for a wedding, charity or community organization. They are usually held at a community centre, legion hall, or any other large, indoor place.
Because they are a fairly uniquely Manitoba thing, they are often known also as "Manitoba Social", "Winnipeg Social", "Wedding Social", or "Fundraising Social".
Most socials are for Weddings run by the bride and groom, or by their wedding party. The money raised at a social helps pay for the wedding. Not only that but it can be a really fun time where you can invite many family and friends.
Tickets are sold per person, and they are around $10-20. Your ticket will get you into the social. You may, on occasion but not usually, be able to buy a ticket at the front door but you usually need to buy a ticket from someone in advance. The ticket will also usually include entry in a prize draw (see below).
At a social, the alcohol will be cheaper than at most bars (usually arpund 3 dollars for each shot of alcohol). Thus, the alcohol there won't be as expensive or high-end and there won't be as big of a selection as there are in bars. Thus, beer (usually Labatt, Kokanee, Coors, etc.) and maybe cheap wine wil be common. For hard liquor, you will usually find one (cheap) brand of each of rye, dark rum, white rum, and vodka. There will be cheap mix if you want.
Most socials usually have some food at them (but not always). They usually have smaller things like kubasa (a kind of sausage), deli meats, breads, pickles and cheese. Bigger dishes are also often ordered though and it is common to see either ethnic home-made food, or food that can be easily ordered, like pizza, chicken, etc. The food is brought out buffet-style usually around midnight. You'll also usually find each table stocked with some snacks such as chips or pretzels.
There's usually music that will be playing all night at the social. There will be a big dance floor with many people dancing. The music that plays will vary from social to social but there will often be similar country and dance style songs playing. If it's a wedding social the DJ will usually play a song for the bride and ggroomto dance to alone, as well as a song for the wedding party.
Raffle and 50-50 Draws
Remember that socials are fundraisers (to make money), and will have all kinds of raffles and prize draws to enter. Basically, you buy a ticket (usually located near the front doors) and put it into q box of some kind. Later they will pick a name, at random, from the box and whoever name is read will win a prize.
The prizes are usually displayed somewhere in the back or off to the side. The prizes may be a single thing or many things (called a prize pack) and can actually be pretty valuable. There's usually one or a few grand prizes (like a TV, mini fridge, etc.) and then a bunch if smaller prizes, such as gift certificates. A 50/50 draw is a cash prize and there's sometimes a "Perfume Draw" where the prize is a bottle of alcohol (usually rye).
Draws are held at the end of the evening, often around 11pm or midnight.
We hope you have a lot of fun if you ever attend a social!