Summer is in bloom

Connecting the Dots

An outing to the baseball diamond, the ice cream stand, hiking a walking trail or watching fireworks has taken on more significance since COVID-19 restrictions came along. For one thing, these are available in the safest province in Canada. Consider some of the destinations mentioned in this piece.

This weekend, our province is waiving the entrance fee for parks. A late breaking announcement says, visitors to provincial parks will not require park vehicle permits from July 17 to 19. Nightly camping fees and fees in national parks still apply.

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Well,Oak Lake resort has lots to offer with its premium golf course, and the beach is going to be an extra special destination for two weekends at the end of July.

The Oak Lake Ag Society is also on the ball. While summer fairs and other celebrations all over Manitoba are closed down this year, Oak Lake Agricultural Society is going to hold their parade.

“It’s one of the best parades around,” notes Pat Cochrane, a member of the Ag Society. She says the parade is open for anyone who wants to participate. Just show up.

They are putting on a display of fireworks the evening prior. These are free events where social distancing can easily be observed, and the organizers want people to be sure to do that.

Fireworks will be at dusk on Friday, July 24 at the Ag grounds on the west side of the town. The next morning, July 25, floats, horses, antique autos, tractors and more will cruise the streets of Oak Lake.

Oak Lake Beach is a busy place in the summer and this year is no different.

The traditional August long weekend Sand Castle Building competition will once again be held at noon on Saturday. The big beach yard sale will be held on August 2nd.

Through some of these events Oak Lake Beach Cottage Owners Assoc. is raising money to install aeration sprinklers to improve Oak Lake’s swimming beach. They have a way to go yet.

The beach is a great place for a Farmers’ Market, and every summer Saturday you will find some two-dozen vendors busily serving customers as they pass through the venue.

There’s everything from wild Saskatoons, sculptures, hand crafts, preserves and home-based businesses such as Watkins.

Kenton Dam is providing summer fun for skiing and swiming, Salt Lake and Eternal Springs aren’t far away; Reston Lake and Elkhorn Spray Park are also great choices.

Now that summer is in full bloom, there are a few more public activities to take in. Will we see an upsurge in traffic since the Phase 3 of Manitoba’s “Restoring Safe Services” is being implemented?

A news release says with self-isolation regulations lifted for western Canadian provinces, northwestern Ontario and the northern territories, our neighbours are now invited to enjoy our summer features.

Travel Manitoba kicked off the second phase of its tourism recovery campaign – Home is where the heart Is – at a news conference on July 13, at the Manitoba Museum. Manitobans are encouraged to re-discover what they love about the province while supporting the local economy, and western Canadians are being encouraged to take to the road for their vacation this year and find their heart here.

Just be sure to take bug repellant or be prepared to cover up. Mosquitos have bloomed along with the summer’s beauty.

 

© Virden Empire-Advance