An American couple from South Dakota enjoyed Canada Day celebrations in Winnipeg on Sunday, after not knowing their neighbours to north would be celebrating the country’s 151st birthday.
Nancy McPhillips and Jim Goodin decided to take a weekend trip to Winnipeg for the first time. They stopped at a information centre after crossing the border, where an employee told them what happens on July 1 in Canada.
“We found out it was Canada Day and it was like: ‘What the heck? We’re going,'” Goodin said.
The couple shopped for Canadian merchandise and took in some festivities at The Forks.
“We knew you guys would have some extra celebrations going on and we would learn some things about Canada,” McPhillips said.
When they grabbed a bite to eat, they noticed something unusual.
“We noticed that everybody eats gravy on their french fries,” Goodin said. “We’ve never seen that before.”
They said the most they ever put on their fries is ketchup.
Both of them tried Canadian beer and went shopping for maple syrup. They said they made some friends along the way, too.
“It’s been wonderful,” McPhillips said. “People have been so gracious and we’ve asked a lot of questions to the locals and they have pointed us to some wonderful festivals and activities and they really guided us to what Canada Day is about.”
They plan on returning home for July 4 and said they already have pictures of some Canada Day festivities that they plan on sharing on Facebook.