American couple stumbles upon Winnipeg’s Canada Day celebrations

Americans celebrate their first Canada Day
WATCH: Some Americans experienced their first Canada Day on Sunday. As Joe Scarpelli explains, they learned a lot about their neighbours to the north.

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.

READ MORE: Winter, travelling and even maple syrup — when people feel the most Canadian

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.

Story continues below advertisement

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.

READ MORE: Canada Day heat wave reduces Parliament Hill turnout

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.