Turnout strong for ‘Spring Fever Days’

Dave Ogilvie

Despite some weather Saturday that definitely was not spring-like, this year’s “Spring Fever Days” in Emo was extremely well-attended by people from across the district.
The annual celebration of spring started with some lovely weather on Friday. The Emo Legion was busy with people stopping by for soup and a sandwich, and to check out the crafts and other tables.
Most stores also had an eventful day, with customers dropping in to take advantage of the in-store deals and to register for the draw for Emo gift certificates.
Also Friday, a sizable crowd assembled outside the Emo Public Library to listen to speeches and watch as the dignitaries on hand officially opened the accessibility renovation with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
After the grand opening, those in attendance were invited inside for coffee and dainties.
Some also took the opportunity to look over the used books the library had for sale.
Don Foster of Nestor Falls Marine also was pleased with the turnout on Friday.
“The numbers seemed down a bit, but business was still very good,” he enthused.
Unfortunately, the weather quickly turned ugly on Saturday, which did not bode well for a successful conclusion to “Spring Fever Days.”
But true to the pioneer spirit of the district, shoppers didn’t let a little snow and rain get them down and turned out in large numbers to snap up deals at the various stores.
“It was amazing,” beamed Tom Mosbeck of Tompkins Hardware. “I really didn’t think there would be this many people out on a day like this.”
“Business was very good,” echoed staff at Emo Drugs. “We were surprised at how busy it was.”
Members of the International Early Iron Club also were undaunted by Mother Nature as more than two dozen attended the “Show and Shine” event at Norlund’s Oil.
Although it made it difficult to view the antique cars, some people did stop by to admire the vehicles and talk to their owners.
Others got a glimpse of the cars from store windows as many club members later took part in a parade down Front Street.
There weren’t many people standing around on the street chatting, but parking was at a premium for most of the day.
Instead, people were gathered in places such as Tompkins, the Emo Legion, the arena, the Christian Reformed Church, and stores all over town.
The new location of the Hair and Body Care Shoppe also was a key gathering place Saturday as a capacity crowd jammed inside to catch a glimpse of the trio of brave souls who were having their heads shaved for “Cuts for Cancer.”
By 1:30 p.m., the place was full as the first to be shaved, Caleb Dueck, took his seat in the chair.
Dueck, a student at Donald Young School in Emo, personally raised $200 towards this worthwhile cause. His shaved head was met with a warm round of applause from the appreciative crowd.
Then teacher Julie Taylor took her spot on the “hot seat.”
Taylor decided to donate her hair to one of the organizations that uses it to make wigs for people battling cancer. Her generosity and efforts in raising money for “Cuts for Cancer” also were greatly appreciated by those on hand.
Finally, the moment arrived that everyone was waiting for as Walter Haglin sat down to await his turn.
For those who don’t know “Wally” personally, he has—or at least had—a full head of hair that hung nearly to his shoulders and a beautiful bushy beard.
People stood in amazement as his hair quickly was removed and fell to the floor.
When it came time to also shave his beard, staff at the Hair and Body Care Shoppe informed the crowd that the beard would not come off unless people donated just a little more, so a couple of hats were passed around.
An amazing $460 was raised in a matter of minutes.
“Don’t touch the moustache,” Haglin was heard to say as a staff member approached him with the clippers.
As people chuckled, Haglin—now totally transformed—posed for pictures with the other two volunteers who parted with their hair for the worthy cause.
The exact amount raised by the trio is not yet known, but all indications are that it is a sizable amount (watch for an announcement at a later date).
Meanwhile, the winners of the Emo gift certificates were drawn at the Hair and Body Care Shoppe later Saturday.
This year’s winners were Dianna Whalen ($500), Syd Curtis ($250), and John Bosma ($250).
All in all, “Spring Fever Days” 2012 was deemed a success by business owners, organizations, and visitors to Emo.
Next year, whether the weather co-operates or not, shoppers once again can count on a great time and some marvelous deals during Emo’s annual celebration of spring.