District slowly returning to outdoor life

We already have finished the first week of April. Sunday was Passover, which leads into the Christian Easter celebration this coming weekend.
Normally at this time of April, the blanket of snow that has covered the district would have disappeared, and Sunday morning services would be marked with bright sunshine and new Easter outfits that gave belief that the new season was upon us.
Alas, this year we will wait for the summer season a little bit longer.
Browsing over my calendar from last year, I noted I had spoken with the people who stored my boat and requested that it be ready for April 21.
It was launched that day—and the first trip across Rainy Lake in 2008 was made that weekend.
I have no expectation that in just two weeks I will be able to repeat that trip.
Cleaning up of the yard has been delayed. If it stays dry this weekend, I hope that my boulevard can be raked, and the gravel that has been tossed can be raked and used to fill the potholes in the back alley.
The warming sun has caused six months of debris to reappear in my yard. The branches that were snapped off in the fierce January windstorm have re-emerged. The leaves that fell after the first snowfall now mat the ground where the snow has melted away.
As I walked to work, the remains of an accident from last winter still were strewn on the boulevard. A collection of plastic soda bottles could be found along Second Street East.
The community will need a good house cleaning.
But before the yard clean-up happens, Emo businesses and merchants will mark the 41st anniversary of Spring Fever Days on April 16-18. The celebration of spring that began in the late 1960s continues forward.
It is always a sign of spring. It is the district’s reason to break out of their homes and get re-acquainted with their friends.
Clarence Ducharme, Ted Corrigan, the late Gordon Meyers, Denis DeGagne, and Charlie Tompkins decided that if everyone got together, the community could attract people from across the district.
The community came together with in-store specials and draws, and attracted people of all ages.
The idea worked and today the district’s official beginning of spring is Spring Fever Days. After a winter of being indoors, friends from across the district gather and renew friendships on Front Street of Emo and in the stores of the community.
It has become a social event and its success probably has exceeded the expectations of those business people who first began it.
Looking back, it was the weekend that our sons would get a new pair of running shoes and a taller pair of gum boots—hoping they wouldn’t find a puddle exceeding the height of the boot.
Tompkins would have their new lineup of boats, with the biggest and boldest always in the showroom. I still remember when Bill Mosbeck brought in the first Lazer sailboat and the sail rose above the front window of Tompkins Hardware.
That, in itself, was an attraction.
Donny Foster now joins the merchants and brings his lineup of boats and motors to the Emo-La Vallee arena.
Spring Fever Days mark the beginning of activities. It will be followed by boat shows and home shows in Fort Frances, then the North Western Ontario Tourism Association will hold its annual meeting in Nestor Falls just days before many of the camps open for the 2009 tourism season.
The district is returning to life out of doors.

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