It was truly heartwarming to hear all the stories that came in for the "Our Forks Story" contest. There were stories of first dates, weddings, engagements in the top of the tower, and more. We couldn't pick just one, so we've decided that everyone who entered is getting a "Embrace Winter" gift pack (skate rentals, hot chocolate and mini donuts). To determine the winner of the "Love Found" gift pack, we put everyone's story into a random draw. And the winner?! Well, here's their story of how they found love at The Forks.
Jen + Dallas
My girlfriend and I broke up in 2005. After three long years apart, we gleefully got back together in August of 2008. One month later, I took her on a surprise canoe trip at The Forks with my friend's canoe. We walked the canoe from the parkade to the waterfront, receiving a lot of waves and 'way to go's' as a result of the canoe atop our heads. We put in and paddled the short distance down to the Red River. My girlfriend had been on the provincial rowing team so I suggested that we paddle by the rowing club on Lyndale Drive. As we passed under the Norwood bridge, I suddenly turned the canoe around and told her to look up. I had affixed the sign "Jen, will you marry me?" on the bridge. She shrieked in delight and I got down very carefully on one knee in the canoe to give her the canoe engagement ring I had bought. She said 'yes' and we paddled back to The Forks.
As we neared, my friend and his family paddled out to meet us in the brand new canoe that was also part of my engagement present. We switched canoes right on the water (nearly tipping with the effort) and continued up the Assiniboine alone in our brand new canoe, giggling all the way.
We were married January 3, 2009 and just celebrated our 6th anniversary.
- As told by Dallas
We couldn't just leave it with Dallas and Jen's story, so here are a a few other stories that we'd like to share.
Caitlin + Tim Doucette
Tim (my dear husband) and I met at 15 years old in high school (yep, sweethearts we are!) and our favourite place to go on any date or just to hang out, has always been The Forks. We both love supporting homegrown businesses and absolutely love the feel and ambiance The Forks provides us. We go no matter the time of year, whether skating along the Red River or dining at our fave place to eat; The Old Spag (we actually celebrate our anniversary by having dinner there every year). We absolutely love it there, and I love to shop there! Since we started going to enjoy The Forks at 15 years old to now over 11 years later, we find something new every time we go. Exploring the trails, enjoying some mini donuts or frozen yogurt and shopping in the amazing little shops; we always find something unique to take in. We have some of our best memories together at The Forks and I know we will continue to for years.
When Tim proposed almost 4 years ago, I knew we had to incorporate our love of The Forks into our wedding. So, I talked with our photographer and decided that our spot for our wedding photos will be at The Forks. We both love the uniqueness and rustic architecture and fell of everything at The Forks so why wouldn't we have our lifelong pictures of our special day there? So the majority of our wedding photos were taken around our favourite spots, see attached photos. I can't describe how much The Forks has taken a part in our love with eachother, amazing date nights, catching fireworks, skating...all things we have done at The Forks have made us so happy and the memories will never fade. We hope to bring our one day children to The Forks for some great family adventures and to show them just how important it is to support local businesses and companies.
Tim has been so supportive and inspirational to me over our 11 years together that I would love to surprise him with an amazing date night and photos to remember them with! I don't want to win this for me, I want to win this for the man that has made my life the best it could be.
- As told by Caitlin
Jaelyn + Shane
The Forks has been a date night spot for my now FIANCÉ and I for 3 years. My name is Jaelyn Bartel and my fiancés name is Shane Froese. One of our first date nights happened at The Forks and it started off by skating on the Red River Trail followed by hot cocoa in the market. We ended up carving our names into the bridge overlooking the river. Every date night that happened to be at The Forks for the following 3 years we would make a tally mark on the bridge next to our names. After lunch on February 8, 2015 at The Old Spaghetti Factory, our 14th tally mark was carved into the same spot by our names. We went for a walk around The Forks after lunch and when we got to “our spot" I grabbed my fiancés car keys to make a new tally mark as I usually do. As I was making the tally mark he came up behind me and told me, “You better make this tally bigger and bolder, because it’s the day I’m going to ask you to marry me.”
I was shocked and overjoyed and could not contain my excitement. He preceded to tell me how much he loved me and why he wanted to marry me. He then got down on one knee and asked for my hand in marriage. I then turned to my right to see one of my best friends who happens to be an amazing photographer who captured the moment perfectly.
PS - I understand that carving your names into public property is illegal. I apologize for that but I feel as though it makes a lasting memory for my fiancé and I.
- As told by Catlin
Thanks for all the contributions. We can't wait for next year and hope to hear even more stories of your Forks stories.
Have a lovely Valentine's Day + we hope you are able to spend some time with those you love.