Wednesday, January 16, 2019
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20150303 Canada Day KO 7750The Riverside Club was built for people to have fun.

Consider it mission accomplished.

Johnny and Jennifer Hart have owned the club, located right on the border and along the Rio Grande, since 1982. They have watched it transition from being a summer gathering spot with boats all along the river to a Winter Texan hot spot and where Johnny navigates the waters daily on the Riverside Dreamer pontoon boat.

For years as well there has been the annual Canada Day celebration, which takes place Tuesday, March 6 at the club, located at 214 E. Chimney Road in Mission. Doors will open at 11 a.m., food will be served from the menu, which includes specialties such as the pork tenderloin sandwich, shrimp basket and super nachos. Jennifer said they will also have another favorite on hand, their delicious pulled-pork sandwich.

There will also be door prizes and live music from 1 to 5 p.m. Johnny will also be taking the Dreamer out for one-hour boat rides. There is one scheduled for noon and other times may be added. Reservations are needed for the boat ride, which is $10 for seniors. Reservations can be made by calling (956) 581-4477 or (956) 581-1033.

The Riverside Club Bar & Grill and Special Event Center has been a gathering place for more than 30 years for locals, tourists, bird watchers and nature lovers who bring their friends, their cameras and their zest for enjoying the good life along the Rio Grande. The club is nestled on the banks of the Rio Grande River and has been the setting for all types of parties and special events. People can relax in air-conditioned comfort in a casual atmosphere or enjoy the fresh air on the shaded waterfront patio while viewing the river and a beautiful sunset. There is a stage and dance floor that gets pretty packed - inside and outside.

“We always just want people to have fun here,” Jennifer said. “We had a Heart of Texas concert the other night and everyone was having a great time. There was this one table filled with Canadians and they were laughing and having a great time. One man was especially excited because he had seen the performers on TV before and wanted them to sign his hat. That's exactly why we build this place.”

Jennifer said it seems like there have been more Winter Texans visiting the club, a trend that has been noticed by park managers and other organizations and businesses throughout the Valley. And, similar to other observations, Jennifer said it seems like it’s an influx of newer Winter visitors.

“We look forward to the wintertime, when the Winter Texans are here,” she said. “We built this place for people to have a good time and for families to come an enjoy it and in a sense the Winter Texans have become family for us. There are so many locals and Winter Texans that have been coming for years and have supported us all the time. Some have been coming for years and years and have watched as we have built the business and made improvements.”

Canada Days haven been traditionally on the first Tuesday every March. In the past there has been a group that comes in and decorates and sets up for the large Canadian crowd. When that group discontinued being in charge, Jennifer and Johnny wanted to keep the tradition going as a way of saying thanks. The first Tuesday of March has stayed as the traditional date ever since.

“There will be decorations and games and it's just a great, fun time every year,” Jennifer said.

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