A barrel racer charges into a racing run at the Rimbey Rodeo in 2019. The Town of Rimbey hopes restrictions will loosen enough to host the annual outdoor rodeo this summer. (File Photo)

A barrel racer charges into a racing run at the Rimbey Rodeo in 2019. The Town of Rimbey hopes restrictions will loosen enough to host the annual outdoor rodeo this summer. (File Photo)

Rimbey mayor hopeful for the return of events this summer

Mayor Rick Pankiw says the return of events will help battle COVID fatigue

By Sarah Baker For Rimbey Review

Going into the warmer months of the year Rimbey residents are prepared and hopeful for some events to return to the community.

Many of the mainstay annual events had to be cancelled because of the pandemic and the restrictions put into place to “flatten the curve.”

One of the events locals are hopeful about returning this summer is the rodeo, according to Mayor Rick Pankiw.

“We are looking forward to it happening this year.”

There are also events to look forward to coming to the Agrim Centre & Rimbey Agricultural Society including the Alberta Dairy Congress.

“The Dairy Congress was in Leduc the past few years but now they are coming to Rimbey in June from the first to the fifth and we are hoping to make it a long-time relationship.”

Having to cancel events has caused many problems for the Town, Pankiw says.

“One of the problems is the loss of revenue to our organizations, but it has also caused mental anxiety and frustration for people,” he said

People want to make sure they are as safe as possible, said Pankiw.

“After almost 13 months, the COVID fatigue is really hitting hard on people.”

Last year rodeos, slow-pitch season and the Canada Day parade were cancelled but this year the organizations will be working with AHS to try and make the events possible and safe for everyone.

“Everybody’s looking forward to those things happening this year, but people are also apprehensive because we aren’t moving as quickly as the government said we would,” Pankiw said.

In the last year the Town has not been able to hold any events which they usually do in conjunction with other organizations.

“None of the events that we normally partner up with other organizations for went last year, but we are hoping they will run this year,” said Pankiw.

Not many events have been able to happen at the Peter Lougheed Community Centre in Rimbey either.

“We haven’t had any events recently, there have been some indoor markets but at the moment there is not much happening,” said Cindy Bowie, director of community services with the Town of Rimbey.

Because of the pandemic community centre has seen fewer bookings as well.

“We don’t see a lot of people because of the lack of activities and events.”

However, with the warmer weather approaching there are some activities to look forward to.

“The tennis nets are going up in the coming months, and we are hoping to open our outdoor pool for public swim if we get lifeguards and depending on restrictions,” said Bowie.

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