July 6th, 2020

COVID-19 forces postponement of Home and Garden Show

By Kuhl, Nick on March 14, 2020.

Kai Maki and Nigel Bueckert, from Hedgecore Landscaping, move sign into place at their display Friday after the annual Home and Garden Show was postponed at Exhibition Park. Herald photo by Ian Martens @IMartensHerald

Nick Kuhl

Lethbridge Herald

nkuhl@lethbridgeherald.com

The show must go on.

Except when it can’t.

Such is the case with the 2020 Home and Garden Show set for next week at Exhibition Park. On Thursday, it was announced the show would be postponed – not cancelled – due to COVID-19 issues and the Alberta Government’s measure of limiting public events to 250 people or less.

On Friday, set up for their second-biggest show of the year was paused.

“Obviously, we’re in unprecedented territory with this,” said Mike Warkentin, chief operating officer for Exhibition Park, Friday morning at a media briefing.

“This is still a new situation and it’s still unfolding. We don’t know how long the impact is going to be, so we are currently looking at multiple scenarios as to when we can get the event rescheduled. As of today, we don’t have those dates established. The importance here was the health and safety of our guests, our staff and our vendors.”

“This is southern Alberta’s largest home and garden show, it’s a big event for our community and to our vendors,” said Bridget Mearns, executive officer with BILD Lethbridge.

“So obviously it’s disappointing to see that this won’t move forward on the date it was planned. But this is about public safety and public health. This is a postponement and not a cancellation, so we fully intend to see if we can find another date.”

Warkentin said future events at Exhibition Park, such as Aggie Days next month and Whoop-Up Days later this year, will be monitored as more is known moving forward.

“We are looking at the potential impacts,” he said. “We’re looking at different schedules. We don’t know how it’s going to impact our region and for how long this provincial recommendation will be in place for. But we are certainly looking at multiple scenarios right now.”

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