Restrictions lifted: What day one without public health orders looked like in Saskatoon
In Saskatoon on Sunday, it felt more like a normal summer day as individuals took advantage of the sunshine and the end to all provincial health orders.
Sports on Tap in Praireland Park held a couple of events, the first of which was a beach volleyball tournament.
“It does feel very normal, very strange because yesterday we had the masks, and now we don’t. It’s amazing, just back to normal,” Francine Puech, one of the tournaments participants told CTV News.
Puech said it was a great day to be enjoying the first mask-free day in over a year, but that doesn’t mean she will be leaving it at home.
“I definitely have one on me just in case. I’m not 100 per cent comfortable yet, but to each their own,” Puech said.
Inside Sports on Tap, a healthy crowd enjoyed no restrictions as dozens showed up to watch the UEFA Euro Cup final between England and Italy, hosted by Living Skies Sports and Entertainment, the company looking to bring a Canadian Premier League team to Saskatoon.
“The stars have aligned. It’s a really good thing for the soccer match today, for Prairieland Park, and for everybody in Saskatchewan,” Alan Simpson, president and CEO of Living Skies said moments before England scored the first goal of the game.
Simpson said more than 80 people registered for the event but more showed up during the match, something that would not have been possible just a day before.
Euro Cup fans were also out in full force at Winston’s English Pub, cheering their team on, hoping for a cup win after 55 years without, only to see Italy take the prize in penalty kicks.
“It’s massive, we haven’t won a trophy, a big trophy since 66’. For England, this is a big day,” Ryan Turvey told CTV before the match.
Ken Gryschuk decided July 11 was the day to hold an outdoor concert featuring local Celtic band Back of the Bus, saying goodbye to masks and gathering limits.
“It’s July 11th, it's Saskatchewan freedom day, no restrictions. So we have friends, family, and neighbours down in our backyard for a concert with Back of the Bus,” Gryschuk told CTV News.
“With no masks’ it’s going to be so much fun, it’s a beautiful day.”
Gryschuk said he has had Back of the Bus play for him before, but he figured not only would it make for a great “freedom day” party, but he also wanted to show some support to local musicians.
“Local artist have been really been hurting over the last year. Everybody should do something this summer. Get somebody into your backyard and hold a party,” Gryschuk said.