The City of Estevan gave its residents, and a few who came into the community, a Canada Day show to remember last week.
A fireworks spectacular was held on July 1, with the sound and the lights associated with the fireworks lighting up the community starting at about 10:30 p.m.
“I thought they were great,” said Diane Wenham, the events manager for the City of Estevan. “There was a few people out, but a lot of people did the social distancing thing and watched them from their homes.”
Those who did venture out watched the fireworks from such locations as the Estevan Exhibition grounds, the Estevan Leisure Centre parking lot and some of the neighbouring streets. However, the city asked people to stay at home to view the show. There were also some who watched the event from the Estevan Comprehensive School’s parking lot or behind the Estevan Shoppers Mall.
No issues were reported for social distancing among those who gathered at or close to the exhibition grounds, which is where the fireworks were set off.
Since so many people opted to stay at home to watch the fireworks, that makes it impossible to know just how many people witnessed the display.
“The fireworks were (shot) fairly high and we’ve had reports that you could see them from a lot of different locations within the city,” said Wenham.
She expressed thanks to the Estevan Exhibition Association for allowing the city to use their property.
A short but powerful thunderstorm rolled through the city just before 9 p.m. on Canada Day, dumping more than 10 millimetres of rain and even some hail in a matter of minutes.
“As soon as the storm hit, the pyrotechnic crew covered what they could with tarps to keep things dry, and once the storm passed, they went back out and, of course, had to wait until the lightning had passed, and uncovered everything that hadn’t blown off with the wind and the rain,” said Wenham.
“They had to hook up a bunch of the fuses that were just getting finished before the rain hit.”
While the storm delayed the show by about 30 minutes, Wenham said there was never any talk of cancelling.
“We just needed to make sure that we had everything, that there was no damage to the fireworks that were out in the storm, and we took a few extra checks from the pyrotechnics,” said Wenham.
She believes there were a few fireworks that couldn’t be lit due to the storm, but more than 90 per cent were utilized.
The pyrotechnic crew had to wait for the lightning to pass completely through the area before the show could begin, which was part of the reason for the delay. The storm moved to the north once it finished the deluge of central Estevan.
“Once they got going, everything went really, really well,” said Wenham.
The city has received a lot of positive feedback, with people saying they were happy to see something happening for Canada Day.
The fireworks show has traditionally been held in Bienfait for their Canada Day celebrations, but Bienfait announced in June that they were postponing their Canada Day bash until later this year, possibly September, due to the restrictions associated with the pandemic. At that time, Estevan stepped in to host the fireworks.