Penhold Mayor Michael Yargeau says he’s hopeful for a more normal year after a “weird” 2020.
“I think ‘weird’ is the perfect way to sum the year up,” Yargeau said Sunday afternoon.
“We went through a lot of challenges that I think none of us were expecting to go through from about March on. It’s been a year where we’ve learned a lot organizationally and as a community.”
It was a difficult year for many due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
“Our community and our town staff were able to find ways to come together even though we physically couldn’t be together,” Yargeau said, citing the town’s physically distanced fall festival and winter warmup care packages, which were sent to every house in the town.
“We all still managed to find ways to make Penhold a special place to be and really brighten people’s days. It’s a small thing, but I had so many people throughout the year tell me how great it was to see things happening in their community even though we can’t be together.”
More than 3,500 people live in Penhold. The town is the 10th fastest growing municipality in Alberta, according to the provincial government’s 2019 census.
“When you walk through our schools or you go to any community events, you’ll see we’re growing with young families. We have so many young kids, babies and young families moving here. It’s an exciting place to live right now,” Yargeau said.
Yargeau said he’s looking forward to Penhold “hopefully” being able to resume its regular summer activities and fall festival in 2021.
“We’ve got a skatepark that’s going to be built in 2021 too. We’re really big on community events and being together with our town. We’re really looking for to getting back to that.
“We’re not (back to normal yet). Our facilities are still closed, so we definitely know that. But by the end of (2021) I do anticipate we’ll be back to a more normal life.”
The next municipal election is scheduled for Oct. 18, 2021 as well.