The Sexsmith welcome sign (MyGrandePrairieNow.com staff)
The Town of Sexsmith is mulling having a community get-together later this summer to reflect on the last 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor Kate Potter says the idea was brought up at a recent meeting of council. Suggesting that because Chautauqua Day was cancelled for the second straight year, a Sexsmith-wide event before kids go back into school and could be an ideal wrap-up for the summer.
“You know, we have made it, let’s make sure everyone is ok, let’s reconnect with neighbours, friends, and people we haven’t seen in a long time,” she says.
“Actually celebrate being able to sort of work through this as a community… and I’m sure that’s why the city [of Grande Prairie] has done their Canada Day stuff as they are.”
Potter says the community has been pretty innovative over the last year when it comes to finding ways to celebrate things like graduations but says the pandemic has undoubtedly been the longest struggle the majority of residents have faced and should be treated as such.
“The mental impact, the community impact, and the economic impact has been huge, we need to come together and say let’s celebrate the successes we’ve had, grieve the losses we’ve had, and come together as a community again,” she says.
She adds moving it later into the summer could also help ease the fears of residents that could be more hesitant to take part in an event any sooner after the provincial restrictions are loosened, and the re-opening process continues when the 70 per cent vaccination threshold gets crossed.
“But, maybe we will be 80 per cent in August, and that helps the people who can’t be vaccinated because of other medical issues, or are still concerned, even if they have been vaccinated, they’re concerned about the general vaccination rate, and if we can balance those things that help all of us,” she adds.
No firm details on any events have been made, however, it’s expected the discussion will continue for members of council in the upcoming weeks.