The provincial government is taking the lead in celebrating Earth Hour in Manitoba Saturday.

The province said all non-essential lights in provincial government-owned buildings will be turned off for the hour. Staff who work in the buildings have been asked to turn off their computer monitors and lights before leaving for the weekend.

City hall will also go dark for the occasion.

It's expected, like in previous years, that thousands of Winnipeggers will turn out the lights all over the city in recognition of the event again this year.

Earth Hour 2012 will take place from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on March 31. The event originated in 2007 in Sydney, Australia.