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Editorial: Now that was a weekend to remember in Estevan

There's plenty to do in Estevan, even though every weekend won't be like the last one.
estevan-fair-2024-2
The midway attracted lots of people on Friday night.

Anybody who says there is nothing to do in Estevan was resoundingly proven wrong this past weekend.

Thanks to the Estevan Exhibition Association's Energy City Ex. and the Estevan Comprehensive School's graduation ceremony, we had lots to do on the weekend. The biggest challenge might have been trying to find a parking spot in central Estevan.

The SMILE Services Estevan Parade was the longest it had been in years, thanks in part to the presence of the Estevan Comprehensive School's grad parade. There seemed to be a lot more excitement for the parade this year; it proved to be an excellent kickoff for this year's fair and rodeo.

The Energy City Ex. had three days of entertainment, with the fair, rodeo, food booths, agriculture pavilion, quilt show, Saturday night cabaret and so much more. Those who were at the rodeo on Friday night won't soon forget the steer auction that raised more than $53,000 for the campaign to bring an MRI to St. Joseph's Hospital. (Thanks to Jaycee Ross and the Ross family for that one).

And then there was the Estevan Comprehensive School's grad ceremony. As we've said before, in towns and small cities, grad is a community event. People who have zero connections to this year's graduating class still want to see the kids dressed in their bright and beautiful formal attire, and they want to honour the Class of 2024. Of course, in a community this size, most people have a pretty good connection to at least one grad. 

To top it off, there was a reception for an Estevan Art Gallery and Museum outdoor art exhibit at Woodlawn Regional Park, and a chance for some storm chasing thanks to a powerful thunderstorm that ploughed through the Estevan area on Saturday night.

All of the events meant traffic was congested in central Estevan on the weekend, particularly Saturday afternoon when grad and the fair were happening at the same time. It was tough finding a parking spot within five minutes of the fairgrounds. People who are used to being able to park in close proximity to an event might have been disappointed.

A lesson for the future: sometimes you're better off parking 10 minutes away and walking, rather than spending 10 minutes looking for a close parking spot, and then parking 10 minutes away anyways. If you can walk, the walk will do you good.

We're not sure if the Comp. and the exhibition association will want to have the two major events coinciding once again, but they showed that they can pull it off if it does occur. And we're guessing that some of the kids at the Comp. were eager to have photos taken with the fair in the background, while some people who were at grad spent Saturday evening at the fair and rodeo.

One of the nice things about a big event like the Energy City Ex. or grad is the buzz it creates in the community. People are excited to have these events. Two in the same weekend? It ramps the anticipation level even higher.

These events bring people into our community, some for the day, others for a night or two. It's good for hotels, restaurants, service stations and even retail stores. There are a lot of businesses that see an uptick in activity and sales due to grad.

We're not going to see a weekend like this again, but there are a number of activities happening on any given weekend in the Estevan area. On June 21, you have the Rotary Club of Estevan's Lobsterfest. That one typically attracts over 700 people.

The following weekend, you have the Canada Day festivities in several different southeast communities. We're certainly looking forward to the Coal Creek Music Festival in Bienfait on June 30 and the host of musical acts from southeast Saskatchewan that will be performing.

Also during the long weekend, you'll have a midway in Carlyle for the first time, thanks to the efforts of the Carlyle Fun Dayz committee. 

There are plenty of activities for people to enjoy over the next three months. Nobody should ever say "I wish I spent more time on Facebook during the summer" or "I wish I spent more time staring vacantly at a screen."

It's going to be another fun summer.