LloydFest will be making a return this year, incorporating some digital elements to work around the pandemic.

The festival is a two-day local initiative which highlights the diverse background of Lloydminster residents. It features world-spanning food, music, arts and crafts as well as traditional dress and events.

The organizers, International Festivals of Lloydminster, say they are working on several options to continue the event in August. They are waiting to see what COVID-19 guidelines are announced by the Government before locking in their plan, but are looking at several possibilities.

Organizer Susan Cambridge says their vision is to create cultural understanding, which people positively responded to at their first event last year.

“The enthusiasm with which I felt with participants, the different countries, it was wonderful. They were happy to showcase and share their cultural experiences. You got a feeling of camaraderie, understanding, diversity and inclusion.”

Among the plans are an online live stream, which will feature some of the performances and events. It will continue to be a part of LloydFest even if restrictions are lifted.

They also are looking at a “Safety Circle” method, which involves splitting the event into three areas of Bud Miller Park, the sundial, picnic tables and Ampitheatre, in order to maintain physical distancing. There will also be an hour time limit per area, and face masks and sanitizer on hand. Food will be served in one of the areas, and music and performances spread across the areas throughout the day.

Cambridge explains that she’s excited to incorporate the live stream, as it will broaden their audience.

“It’s also a vehicle and opportunity to showcase Lloydminster, and not just in Lloydminster, but when you start to step out into live stream and you’re on Facebook and Instagram, then you share it with the rest of the world.”

International Festivals of Lloydminster is currently working with different health authorities, the municipal and provincial governments and other international event planners to make sure they can have a safe festival.

LloydFest is still slated for August 21st to 23rd.