January 18th, 2021

Albertans welcome holiday weekend

By Yoos, Cam on May 19, 2020.

Herald photo by Greg Bobinec - On the waters of Park Lake Provincial Park, families brought out their boats for an afternoon of fishing and relaxation. @GBobinecHerald

Greg Bobinec

Lethbridge Herald


Many Albertans found ways to make the most of their Victoria Day long weekend despite COVID-19 concerns and restrictions throughout the province to stay in place.

While weather is usually the determining factor for whether families go camping for May long weekend, this year it was lack of accessibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 1, the province opened vehicle access to parking lots and staging areas in provincial parks and public lands, along with boat launches. Although parks were open, many facilities such as local businesses and washrooms were closed.

“With everything going on, on top of everyone wanting out this weekend, we just decided to have a beach day at Park Lake and get some sunshine for the day,” says Karen Barksley. “There is still a lot of restrictions in place and we thought it would be better to stay away from where everyone was going and wait until more stuff opens up. Even though we couldn’t do what we normally do every May Long, we made the best of it.”

While many families were looking forward to visiting their beloved provincial and national parks, many communities were encouraging people to stay away from their areas for now, as they continue to fight against the spread of COVID-19.

“We know that people may be eager to adventure this long weekend, but we are asking for some time to work together as a community in order to welcome visitors again,” says Leslie Bruce, president of Banff and Lake Louise Tourism.

“We want to protect this special place in the Rockies, and that means reopening when we can ensure our community and visitors can be kept as safe as possible.”

While many families took the opportunity to get out camping this weekend, while following social distancing and sanitization practices, other residents found activities in their hometowns to keep them occupied. With golf courses, tennis courts, restaurants and bars slowly opening with some restrictions, residents took advantage of the openings to get some different activities back into their lives.

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Citi Zen

Re: the Herald photo above – it is unlawful to operate a power boat on Park Lake.