Spring fever will be celebrated this Thursday through Saturday in Emo. It’s the 40th version.
The celebration began, as many do, in a moment of inspiration when a bunch of the boys in Emo got together one evening to discuss how they might create a spring celebration and bring additional business to Emo.
Gordon Meyers, Ted Corrigan, Ted Kaemingh, Dennis DeGagne, and Clarence Ducharme at a Chamber meeting hatched the idea at an Emo Chamber of Commerce meeting.
With the idea born, they then canvassed the main street and brought Charlie Tompkins, Bill Mosbeck, Mel Asplund, Elmer Norlund, Raoul Cayer, Bill and Dave Loney, and several others on board.
What began in 1969 has grown.
The grand prize of that first weekend were tickets to the Calgary Stampede, accommodations in Calgary, and $150 in spending money.
The value of the prize years later was changed and increased to “Emo Bucks,” which could be spent in the community. Merchants also had their own draws, which increased the attraction of shopping in Emo that weekend.
The district responded and the third weekend in April has been owned by the Emo businesses ever since—only interrupted by Easter.
Emo merchants, working together, have shown that working together can produce energies bigger that by working apart. That tradition has carried on for 40 years and the Emo merchants are to be commended.
The celebration has grown, and the crowds have become larger, as the weekend marks the official change from winter to summer. District residents wait in anticipation of the event.
Over the past decades, it has been slightly marred by an occasional rainstorm—and snowstorm—but has never experienced three days of poor weather.
The weather forecast for this coming weekend again promises to co-operate with the businesses of Emo.
This past weekend, impatient residents found every excuse to be out in their yards, walking, riding bikes and motorcycles, and enjoying the sunny weather.
The spring clean-up and the outdoor walks were resuming. Families were out everywhere.
On Sunday, I filled the tires of my bicycle with air and went for the first spin of the year down Victoria Avenue and out around Front Street. There was a cool breeze blowing off the upper Rainy River, but the heat of the sun could be felt on my back.
The snow that came a week ago Sunday may have dampened everyone’s spirits earlier in the week, but with its disappearance, lawns were being raked where the snow had disappeared.
The din of the squawking sea gulls could be heard announcing their return to Borderland.
People were out picking up the wrappers, paper coffee cups, and emptied pop cans that are appearing from underneath the blanket of snow.
The tulips that I planted last fall are pushing their way through the last of the snow, joining the green shoots of my day lilies. The ground might be frozen, but their strength to reach out to the lengthening sunlit days amazes me.
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