Tuesday, February 19, 2019
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20180306 CanadaDay Riverside GU 1889Hundreds of Canadians showed up at the Riverside Club in Mission on Tuesday, March 6 to join in the fun of the annual Canada Day celebration. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the music provided by the Riverside Club Band led by Randy Dupuis and enjoying drinks and food. They were a number of couples on the floor at all times and when the line dances started, two lines of dancers filled the room from one end to the other.

A group of ladies from Ontario were enjoying a Perita, a 32-ounce margarita with two Peronas dumped upside down in the glass. Each had a straw and were drinking their share. Others were enjoying nachos, barbecue sandwiches and other items from the club’s menu.

20180306 CanadaDay Riverside GU 1788More than half of the people there were from Ontario with Saskatchewan coming in second. Other provinces represented included Alberta, Newfoundland, Quebec and the Northwest Territory.

People attending came from parks in and around the Mission-McAllen area, Edinburg, Pharr, Alamo and Weslaco.

Most of those attending said they stayed in the Rio Grande Valley from five to six months due to the extremely cold weather back home in Canada. Others, sadly had a shorter time as they had to go home before the cold was over. Leanna Hastin said the weather at home in Saskatchewan was cold and snowing.
Another Canadian from Saskatchewan said there was a recent blizzard with over a foot of snow near her home.

Diane McDougall of Manitoba said there had been 18 inches in two days back home. Everyone who commented on the snow said they were happy to be in South Texas away from the wintery weather back home.

20180306 CanadaDay Riverside GU 1791Betty Devereaux, who lives in Magic Valley in Weslaco, said she is a third-generation Winter Texan preceded by a great aunt and uncle and then her parents. Her children have visited so there is a possibility of a fourth generation coming in the future.

When asked what they liked to do while in the Valley there were a variety of answers. Bob and Dorothy Bridges said the love to eat and drink and do line dancing. They go to the dances at the Riverside Club quite often. They also enjoyed visiting Progreso.

Jeff and Kari Whyte are first time visitors from Alberta staying at Leisure World in Weslaco. They have been visiting in-laws and seeing the sights and enjoying the warm weather.

Brian and Deb Highmoor who live in Seven Oaks in Mission enjoy golfing up to five times a week.

Mick and Roe Parent participated in the senior Golden Olympics put on by the city of McAllen. He won a bronze medal in billiards and they also played Texas Hold’um. Alphonse and Suzanne Lesscair are new to the Valley and are enjoying everything as it is their first time to visit and see the sights.

Shirley Fischer of Leisure World said she has been coming to the Valley for 15 years and enjoys coming to the Riverside Club to dance. She also enjoys doing activities like shuffleboard in her park.

20180306 CanadaDay Riverside GU 1876When Randy and Judy Buchko were asked what they liked to do best in the Valley, Randy wiggled his eyebrows mysteriously and said, “We don’t like to tell what we do in the Rio Grande Valley. What happens in the Valley, stays in the Valley!”

Paul and Elizabeth Mitchen of Ontario have been coming 11 years. They love the rodeo and livestock show opportunities available in the Valley and they enjoy going to South Padre Island for the beaches. Back home they enjoy taking the ferry on Lake Erie and going to the lake’s beaches. They also enjoy the people they meet.

Others mentioned festivals like BorderFest, the Texas Citrus Fiesta Parade, and Smokin’ on the Rio. They also like taking part in VFW activities, and seeing the folklorico dance shows put on by La Joya ISD.

While most of the folks were from Ontario and the middle provinces, there were a few from the east coast. But perhaps the ones who came the farthest were Gerald and Barbara Thorbin who come from Yellow Knife in the Northwestern Territory where they work in the diamond mines. Gerald says he once found a diamond of 37 carats in the mine. The mines produce brown, yellow and clear diamonds.

It’s a distance of over 4000 miles to the Thorbin’s home. Temperatures there in the winter are very harsh. On Canada Day, it was 30 degrees below zero at home. The couple has previously stayed in Hawaii during winter but after coming to the Valley they found they like it better here.

20180306 CanadaDay Riverside GU 1950Their daughter and son-in-law Sara and Stephen May were visiting from Yellow Knife and enjoying the warm weather. Stephen is a fourth-generation resident of Yellow Knife, which he says it hard to find because the weather is so very cold most of the time. In winter, it is dark all the time and in summer it is daylight all day long. The lake there freezes in October and does not thaw until June. The cold temperatures and the lack of sun in winter are very hard on people so few families stay in the far north long.

Regardless of where in Canada they came from, all those attending the Canada Day celebration at the Riverside Club had a great time.

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