Winter Texans' Snowbird Extravaganza

Winter 2000 CSANews Issue 37  |   Posted date : Mar 07, 2007.Back to list

Bird talk - Le Jaseur
Dear Bird Talk:

We are all aware that the letter "C" (as in C.S.A) stands for "CANADIAN", and as such I would like to comment on the remarks appearing in the summer issue of C.S.A. News regarding last winter's Extravaganza at South Padre Island, Texas.

Firstly-In South Texas you are not referred to as a "Snowbird". You are a "Winter Texan". So to refer to anyone as a "Winter Texan Snowbird" is redundant.

However, the crux of my complaint is regarding the promotion of the Extravaganza in that area. It was almost exclusively promoted on a daily five minute tv report called The "Winter Texan Report" which generally outlines upcoming events for several weeks in advance (which was good) but the word Canadian was seldom mentioned, whereas the magical word "FREE" was used extensively. Free parking, free admission, free entertainment ­ nothing attracts the attention of most winter Texans like the word FREE.

Consequently, Canadian like my wife and I, plus other Canadian acquaintances drove for a hour or more to S. P. Island and couldn't get within a mile or more of the convention center, because the parking lot, side streets, vacant lots & fields etc..were jammed with vehicles whose tags read-Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, South Dakota, Wisconsin etc. etc. and all other Midwestern states who principally winter in South Texas.

We parked as close as we could and began the long hike in. Only to be met by returning Canucks whom advised us to turn around and save our time. They all claimed that the lines were so long for everything that it wasn't worth going on.

I think that your glowing comments about the "Absolute Unbelievable Fans Of Extravaganza In Texas" and the 'Overwhelming Crowds" is a bit misleading. If you had promoted it as "Canadian Snowbird Association Convention" and not pumped the word free so extensively, then us Canadians who drove for an hour or more from various points in the "Valley", would have been able to attend, and you wouldn't even be considering making it a two day affair.

I have no quarrel with the U.S. Winter Texans. For a number of years now I R.V. to this area and love it, but realistically, I would guess that Canadian make up approximately 10% of all Winter Texans. If you want to repeat "Overwhelming Crowds", so be it, but if you want to tailor your Extravaganza for Canadian Snowbirds, then I think some changes are necessary.

W. Fry
Niagara Falls, On

Response :
Mr. Fry was not alone in expressing frustration with our Texas event. We heard from many others who raised this and other issues. To alleviate the crowding, we are moving to a two-day event, with pre-booked reservations, and having the first day, February 12th, as Canada Day. CSA members will be given priority and tickets will still be FREE for them. We will, however, be charging a $5 entrance fee for others wishing to attend. We have taken several measures to assist with the crowds and traffic and have also substantially upgraded the sound systems. To reserve your place for this "Event of Events" see page 50 for details.

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