Live music, the smell of barbecue and a bouncy castle were among the highlights of an event aimed to make up for lost time.
Public health rules designed to stymie the spread of the novel coronavirus have gotten in the way of people getting close and spending time together over the past 16 months.
Edmonton resident Dan Hague took it upon himself to organize a free family barbecue, dubbed "For All That We Missed." The get-together took place Saturday at Hawrelak Park and was organized to compensate for missing out on major celebrations and events as well as the private intimate gatherings.
"I wanted to have an event where we're reconnecting," Hague said.
"It has been a year-and-a-half of isolation and staying at home, and not being within six feet of each other. So it's the perfect event to have some fun."
Around 100 people attended the event Saturday, Hague said.
Hague, who works as a financial advisor, has been working from home through the pandemic but is transitioning back into the office. He's looking forward to things eventually returning to normal.
Saturday's event featured live music, barbecue, gifts and prizes, as well as a bouncy castle and sparkling juice tastings for the kids. A wine and beer tasting was held for the adults.
Andrew Cook was one of the attendees. He was excited to get out with other people.
"It's good to see a bunch of happy faces," he said.
"We're just happy that everyone's having fun and [we'll] enjoy the summer — or at least what's left of it."