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2001: The year it snowed on Canada Day

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The weather outlook for tomorrow (Fri.) is good: sunny and temps in the low 20s.  But every Canada Day since 2001, a lot of people keep an eye on the forecast.

That day, Ralph Girard and his Richelieu Club committee running the annual truck drag races up the Sixth Avenue hill in Cochrane woke up to a morning he calls “kind of chilly”.

“It started to snow, sleet, threw everything at us,” he recalls.

It had taken six months to prepare the event, so set-up continued.

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“So that morning, everybody was up there at six o’clock in the morning and it was cold and snowing,” says Girard. “But we said ‘it’s gonna stop, it’s gonna stop.’ Well, obviously it never stopped.”

Races were supposed to begin at noon.  When it was still snowing at four o’clock, they were cancelled.

“Well, we tried it with a few trucks going up the hill,” Girard recounts, “and all they were doing was sliding all over the place. It was very risky for the crowds that were there for an accident to happen.”

Everything moved indoors to the Richelieu Hall on Fifth Avenue for a barbecue, open bar and the raffle for a pick-up truck.

The races ran one more time the next year, but not beyond that, because of increasing insurance costs.

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