For the first time in 114 years, the Colonial Days Fair will not go ahead in Lloydminster because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Lloydminster Agricultural Exhibition Association is following provincial health guidelines such as group size restrictions and the need for physical distancing and made the decision to cancel the event. The fair was scheduled from July 8 to July 11, 2020 and will be rescheduled for the second Wednesday of July 2021.
“It’s a bittersweet day,” General Manager Michael Sidoryk says. “We do not want to make people unsafe. We don’t want to be a part of transferring COVID-19 in our community. We want to make sure people are comfortable to be here for activities.”
Mayor Gerald Aalbers echoes Sidoryk’s feelings on the cancellation of Colonial Days.
“When you look back we’ve experienced two world wars, the spanish flu, the droughts, the depression in the 30’s and they didn’t cancel the fair in continued on in one way or another. This year we are unable to do that and it’s a sad day for Lloydminster and the Exhibition.”
Aalbers says the cancellation will have a big economic impact as the fair brings in 35,000 to 40,000 people into the city.
“The fair brings a lot of people to town and a lot of people mark their calendars for the Lloyd fair. It’s going to have an impact on our businesses downtown and the Exhibition as well as all the people that come to the fair to sell their wares at the tradeshow.”
A new name, look, attractions and features were expected to be unveiled at this year’s Colonial Days. Sidoryk says work already done for the event will not go to waste and will be implemented into the 2021 fair.
“We’ve got another whole year to plan. With that opportunity we’ll be able to refine, tweak and look for more new things that we can put together to make the fair a bigger and better event for this whole community.”
Lloydminster Exhibition will assess all future events and encourage clients to reach out if they have concerns or need help.