‘Spring Fever Days’ has long history

With Easter being as late as possible, “Emo Spring Fever Days” are jumping a week ahead this year.
Across the district from Atikokan to Rainy River and north to Sioux Narrows this marks the first big event of the year, a tradition that goes back more than 50 years. Even though it has rained, or snowed on the weekend, the weather mostly promises to be filled with bright, sun-filled days and moderate temperatures.
The event has become a big social event. There is as much meeting and greeting of friends as there are sales in the stores. A stroll along Front Street with stops in stores often can amount to a morning activity without stopping at the grocery store or the arena.
Someone once said, “We came for the specials, but the social activities were the best part.”
Many of the original merchants who dreamed of the weekend celebration have passed, but the dream of Gordon Meyers, Bill Mosbeck, Raoul Cayer, Ted Corrigan, Mel Asplund, Fred Klug, Dave and Bill Loney, and Ted Kaemingh continues to grow.
Other businesses joined in with the original group. It was an Emo business’ responsibility to be part of the “Spring Fever” celebration. The cohesiveness of the Emo business community is a marvel to all the other communities across the district.
Originally, the big prize awarded to one lucky family was a trip to the Calgary stampede including accommodations and tickets to the stampede. A former Emo couple owned a motel in Calgary, and they were only too accommodating to the Emo merchants giving them an excellent rate for the stampede week.
Later, the merchants made a decision to award Emo Bucks to the lucky participant in the draw sponsored by all the members of the Emo Chamber of Commerce.
Often times, the arrival of “Spring Fever Days” has coincided with the opening of new businesses, the unveiling of new products or services in the community. When a Laser sailboat with its red sun against the white sail in front of Tompkins Hardware, it became a show stopper attracting attention from everyone.
Often “Spring Fever” coincided with “John Deere Days.” In more recent years, “John Deere Days” has occurred much earlier in the year.
Don Foster increased the attendance in Emo, filling the Emo Arena with Prince Craft boats and motors, docks, pontoon boats and introduced Yar-Craft and Bass Cat brands two years ago to the district.,
Ted Corrigan at Fairway Store, now Cloverleaf Grocery, often had a truckload sale, with a large trailer stocked with cases of canned goods, 50-pound bags of flour and rolled oats encouraging people to stop. Cloverleaf still has special sales on grocery items for “Spring Fever Days.”
The excitement continues in the 2019 event. Get ready for it next weekend.