The fallout from the sudden, heavy snowfall and frigid temperatures may have put a dampener on some of the festivities, but Emo's “Spring Fever Days” went out with a bang on its final day.
While not everything that was planned to run on Saturday survived the wild weather from earlier in the week, overall the day was hailed as a success.
“I would say the first couple of days, the weather definitely dampened things a little bit,” said Dave Goodman, president of the Emo Chamber of Commerce.
“But Saturday was really good, exceptional,” he added.
Sunny skies and warmer weather on Saturday helped draw crowds out to the various indoor events that were held for Spring Fever Days, but some of the outdoor events could not proceed because of the snow and wet conditions.
Norlund Oil owner Paul Koomans said that the annual classic car show, held in conjunction with the International Early Iron Car Club, had to be called off due to the weather.
“It dawned on me when I had to plow snow on Friday that it wasn't going to go,” Koomans said.
“It's always been a weather permitting event, we are at the mercy of the weather. We have had success in the past with good weather at Spring Fever Days, but the month of April can be challenging for those kind of outdoor events,” he added.
Despite having to cancel the car show, Koomans said that their barbecue display was able to go on as planned.
“Traffic was maybe a little lighter at this year's event, and I would say primarily due to weather,” he said.
“It was still a good turnout overall, given those conditions.”
Other outdoor events were also able to go ahead in spite of Thursday and Friday's snowfall.
At Emo Feeds, the petting zoo was able to shake off the wintry blues and brought out some bunnies, goats and kittens for visitors to cuddle up with. Meanwhile, Rainy River Meats on Front Street had a steady stream of hungry visitors stop by for their sidewalk barbecue, where Steve Loshaw and Dave Donaldson manned the grills.
The general consensus seemed to be that if the weather led to Friday being slower than usual, Saturday more than made up for it.
“This year it was probably half the traffic that we normally would get on a Friday," said Nestor Falls Marine owner Don Foster. The dealership held its annual boat show on the floor of the Emo arena during "Spring Fever Days,” and Foster said he was happy with the event overall.
“In the end it turned out very well. Friday was not very good, weather obviously was the contributing factor to that, but Saturday was absolutely crazy.”
Craft vendors who were set up at the Emo Legion for its “Crafts Galore” event described the difference from Friday to Saturday in the same way.
“Yesterday I started to worry because I made so many dozen and I couldn't take them all home,” said Ging Taylor, who was selling homemade spring rolls and wontons at her booth, Oriental Express, on Saturday.
“But today was really good. By 1:30 p.m. we sold out,” she said.
Saturday was also a good day for a handful of lucky individuals who won prizes in the various draws that took place around town over the course of the day.
Gerald Gamie was the grand prize winner of the Emo Chamber of Commerce “Spring Fever” draw, winning $500 worth of gift certificates. Cheryl Bragg and Henry Pentney were both winners of the runner-up prizes, each receiving $250 worth of gift certificates.
The Emo and District Lions Club also held their grocery draw at the tail end of the Saturday's festivities. Mavis St. Helaire was the grand prize winner of $5,200 in Cloverleaf Grocery gift certificates, getting a $100 gift certificate every week for 52 weeks. Marina Gerber was the second-place winner of the Lions Club draw, winning a $100 Cloverleaf gift certificate a week for five weeks, and Dale Ossachuk won the third-place prize of a $100 Cloverleaf gift certificate.
Overall, “Spring Fever Days” 2019 may not have had the weather organizers and businesses wanted to see across all three days, but a good crowd from across the district turned out in force on Saturday to make the event another success.
“I'd like to thank all the businesses that helped organize and get things organized again this year,” said Goodman.
“And I thank all the people in the district for coming out and supporting us.”