Cool temps chill out Manitoba beach's long weekend

The first long weekend of the season is here but a wet, cool forecast means many beach goers will likely leave their swimsuits in the drawer.
A number of vendors at Manitoba's Grand Beach are feeling the pinch after a late start to the season has been exacerbated by a rainy long weekend forecast. CBC's Nelly Gonzalez reports. 1:43

The first long weekend of the season is here, but a wet, cool forecast means many beach goers will likely leave their swimsuits in the drawer.

That means vendors who rely on the summer crowds at the province's beaches are being left high and dry.

The ice is still on Lake Winnipeg, making for some cool dips this weekend. (CBC)

"Last year we were out here already, selling by May long weekend," said Dale-Ann Boss, the owner of Juan More Thing, a kiosk at Grand Beach.

Boss is the first vendor to set up her kiosk at the beach this season, but she isn’t sure if she’ll sell much.

"You're always worried about how many people are going to be coming out to the beach," said Boss.

"We'll still have people out here just not sure what we'll be selling, whether it will be jackets or sandals."

Meanwhile, Devin Atkinson ventured out to the beach on Thursday, but after dipping his toes in, he didn’t stay for long.

"It's pretty cold; it's like bone-chilling cold," he said.

Atkinson and his family were looking forward to spending the long weekend at Grand Beach, but were shocked to find the lake still covered in ice.

"There is a lot of ice for this time of year. We were really expecting a lot more water," said Atkinson’s mom, Christina Kazmierczak.

"We took a long time to get ready to have this celebration May long weekend, and now that it’s going to be raining, we’re trying to soak up as much sun as we can now."

The long winter has also delayed camping and cottage season for many Manitobans this year; campground reservations are down 60 per cent for this weekend compared to last year.

But Boss doesn’t think the whole season will be a write-off. She said her busiest weekend is typically Canada-day long weekend.