Albertans are being invited to “enjoy Sylvan Lake responsibly” this summer, says the town’s mayor.
“Definitely respect the people who are next to you – as we come out of these restrictions in Alberta, there are some people who are going to be comfortable with jumping back into a crowd and other people who aren’t. We’re hoping people are respectful of each other and still keeping their distance so everyone can enjoy themselves,” Mayor Sean McIntyre said Friday afternoon.
Last summer, Sylvan Lake received online attention after a picture featuring a large crowd on the beach was posted on social media.
“What we saw was roughly four million Albertans trying to get outside where they could, whether it was Sylvan Lake, Gull Lake, Pigeon Lake, Crescent Falls … or anywhere in between,” McIntyre said.
“Albertans were packing every outdoor attraction and we don’t expect things to be too different this year. What we want to do is work with people to get the word out to say, ‘You’re welcome to come, you just need to be responsible and respectful of the people around you.’”
There will be additional enforcement and signage to remind visitors to be respectful to others, the mayor added.
“We recognize everybody is looking to get outside and enjoy themselves. We’re saying they’re welcome to do that here, there’s just a couple of things to keep in mind before we do that,” he said, adding bylaw officers and peace officers will provide an “education-first attitude” in terms of enforcement.
“It all comes down to being considerate of the people around you and being considerate of the environment you’re in.”
Additionally, McIntyre encouraged visitors to consider visiting at less busy times to avoid big crowds.
“They can choose what kind of experience they’re going to have based on when they decide to go. If you’re going to visit Sylvan Lake on a very sunny Saturday, then you’re going to visit when there are a lot of other people wanting to visit,” he said.
“But if it’s a gorgeous week like we’ve just had, then there are a lot of great opportunities to come during the week. You’ll experience less visitors and more room to spread out.”
McIntyre said there is more than just the beach for people to visit in Sylvan Lake.
“We have two kilometres of linear park that people can spread out in and there is a lot more than just that one area (near the pier),” he said.
“If you show up to a place and it’s extremely crowded, maybe try to find a different place.”