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P.E.I. woman gets surprise proposal during Halifax busker festival


When it comes to surprises, Kerissa Richards is not an easy or willing target.

The 25-year-old St. Louis, P.E.I., native says she doesn’t like them. She’s also notoriously difficult to fool.

“I’ll try to put things together and figure it out if I think something’s going on.”

What happened to Richards on Monday, however, may change her tune about surprises.

Richards and her boyfriend, Shane Bourque — who are expecting their first child, a boy due this week — were on their way to a performance at the Halifax Busker Festival.

The previous Saturday had been Richards’ birthday, but Bourque had to work, so he suggested they go out and do something fun Monday to celebrate.

After parking at the Halifax waterfront, Bourque had to return to the car, telling his girlfriend that he forgot his wallet.

Moments later, as the pair took in a performance by Argentinian “Football Freestyler” Victor Rubilar, the busker approached Richards and asked her to come to the middle of the crowd of onlookers, presumably as part of the performance. 

None of this raised Richards’ suspicions.

What she didn’t know was that Bourque had sent a message to Rubilar one week before, so the busker knew in advance that Bourque was bringing Richards to the show.

They had also planned that Rubilar would somehow single Richards out from the audience.

And Bourque didn’t go back to the car to get his wallet — he was actually going to get an engagement ring.

The scene that followed was captured on a video taken by staff at the Halifax Busker Festival.

The busker asks Richards if she’s single or if her husband is with her at the show.

Richards replies that she’s not married, but her boyfriend is in the audience.

“Your boyfriend?” the busker is heard asking in the video, looking towards Bourque. “Sir, what are you going to do about that?”

At this point, Bourque races up in front of the crowd, pulling the ring from his pocket.

He gets on bended knee in front of Richards and asks her to marry him.

While it’s not audible in the video, it’s clear from the crowd’s reaction that she says yes.

It happened to be the one surprise Richards never saw coming, and it’s one she’ll never forget.

“When I saw Shane come running up, I just thought, ‘I can’t believe this is happening,’” she said. “It didn’t feel real. I just cried.”

The video posted on the festival’s Facebook page has since circulated widely.

Halifax resident Shane Bourque gave his girlfriend, P.E.I. native Kerissa Richards, the surprise of her life when he proposed to her during a public performance at the Halifax Busker Festival o Aug. 7, 2017.

As of Tuesday evening, it's been shared more than 650 times and viewed almost 70,000 times from that page alone.
Richards has been living with Bourque in Halifax, where she works as an esthetician, for the past three years after the two met through the online dating app Tinder.
The youngest of four children, Richards did manage to call her family back in P.E.I. to let them know the good news before the video was posted and subsequently went viral.
While the couple has no immediate plans for the wedding, Richards said the main focus for the couple now is the birth of their child, who they’ve already named Marshall Ray, after Richards’ grandfather Raymond.

As for those surprises — despite this one likely being more public than either she or Bourque ever dreamed — Richards didn’t mind it one bit.

“It’s crazy for so many people to see our love,” she said. “We’re just very excited.”

 

stephen.brun@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/stephendbrun

 

 

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