Wednesday, September 22, 2021
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Plans Underway: Lethbridge’s Whoop-Up Days could be a go for August

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LETHBRIDGE, AB – Remember the rides, the trade show, the smell of the cotton candy and the taste of those elephant ears?!

Well, there a chance that will be the case this summer as officials at Lethbridge Exhibition Park are mulling different scenarios for holding Whoop-Day Days.

This week, the Alberta government announced plans to fully reopen by July, based mainly on COVID-19 vaccination thresholds. That would means all restrictions could be lifted within the next 4 to 5 weeks if those targets are met.

The Exhibition’s Chief Executive Officer, Mike Warkentin, says they’re looking things over as we speak.

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“We’re going to weigh some options over the next couple of weeks,” Warkentin told our radio station. “To make sure we have a solid plan, whatever the guidelines may be when we get to the point of Whoop-Up Days and be adaptable in case things change.”

Lethbridge’s annual summer fair usually takes place around the third week of August each year. It had to be cancelled last year because of a province-wide ban on large gatherings.

With Whoop-Up Days still potentially more than two months away, Ex Park officials still have plenty of time to plan and watch what happens around the province.

Warkentin says they’ll be keeping an eye on other outdoor events as the summer goes on.

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“We have the opportunity fortunately, given our dates, to see best practices that other industry partners are putting on and we are in communication with them on what they’re rolling out this summer. We are in discussions with West Coast Amusements as to what that looks like,” said Warkentin.

Warkentin says the Exhibition is in the business of bringing the community together. “I think the community wants it, we certainly want it, but we just have to manage that it be done in a safe and responsible way.”

A few other things have to be taken into account too if Whoop-Up Days ends up being a go. The exhibition is a busy place these days with a major re-deveopment construction project underway along with a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in the South Pavilion.

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Patrick Siedlecki

Pat has been a mainstay in the CJOC News department from the time the station launched in 2007. He’s been in the position of News Director since then and has been anchoring daily news casts as well as reporting and working behind the scenes.

Community is important to him and keeping CJOC listeners and readers informed about what’s happening across southern Alberta and beyond.

Pat has been in radio broadcasting for the past 24 years, starting in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1997 and then moving up island to Nanaimo for another few years before heading to Lethbridge in 2007.

Pat grew up in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Foam Lake. After high school, he went to Western Academy Broadcasting College (WABC) in Saskatoon prior to moving to the island.

Pat also spent several years broadcasting hockey in the BCHL as well as seven years as the radio voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and Funeral Assistant since 2016.

News and sports have always been Pat’s passion from the time he was a teenager and he’s always been grateful to have had the opportunity to make that part of what’s been a fun and long radio career!

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