After what can only be described as a sodden start to summer, the forecast for Burton’s Beach Daze looked grim. Not only were there (more) rainfall warnings being issued by Weather Canada, but not a severe thunderstorm was being predicted.
Despite the doom and predicted gloom, Friday was one of the few really beautiful days of summer yet, even though a haze did overtake part of the afternoon. Still, the evening was lovely, and enthusiasm was undiminished even by thunder and lightning in the distance.
Saturday morning the ground was wet at Burton Beach, but no rain was falling, and the parade line up was a motley and merry crew of Burtonites dressed for anything. Togas, heels, horses; the variety from the hamlet was alarmingly funny.
After a quick parade around the campground, the Amazing Race teams got ready to canoe, bike and run to victory. Just as the canoeists were climbing in to their boats, black clouds rolled in and roughed up the water. But these folks are hardy, and with a leap, they were off, paddling in twos the one-kilometer distance around a distant boat.
Competition, particularly at the beginning, was fierce, with a little friendly ramming taking place as part of the jostling out of the docking area. By the time the teams were heading back under ever-more blackening skies, it was clear Clark Drive Pride were at the head of the pack.
But in a surprising upset during the cycling section, 2 Smokers and 2 Others had gained the lead, exercising their lungs for all they’re worth. As the last of the Real Housewives of Burton ran up from the beach in her animal print galoshes, the skies opened up and let loose giant drops of rain on the enthusiastic crowd.
Lightning flashed dramatically behind the mountains, and the downpour became one more challenge for the racers to face. One of the toga-clad Arrow Lakes Grape Growers Society members shook his head as if cursing the rain gods. Perhaps fickle Zeus saw him, because the torrent changed to periodic bursts, a little like someone turning the hot water on and off while you’re trying to take a shower. Or the rain when you’re trying to have some fun.
Whether or not the weather had intent, it was already too late: the people of Burton had already succeeded in having fun and a heck of a time parading around the campsite. Sure enough, it looked like they were set to have great day, come heck or high water.