For the first time, as per the city of Regina’s new smoking bylaw, fair-goers were not allowed to smoke on the grounds at the Queen City Ex.
Since the fair has been around for about 130 years, for some, it was a tough, said Paula Kohl, spokesperson for the Regina Exhibition Association.
“For all those years, people have been able to freely smoke here, so it’s a big change for people,” she said.
Kohl added that her team has been working with the Regina Police Service to try to educate people about the designated smoking areas, rather than immediately handing out fines. She said most smokers have been very cooperative and oftentimes apologetic.
However, there was one issue. There have been complaints from some smokers about where to find the designated smoking areas.
“It sucks — especially when you have to go around looking for their designated spots,” said one elderly woman.
Another man admitted that he snuck behind rides to light up because he couldn’t locate the appropriate spot to do so.
While there are signs at the entrance gates and elsewhere around the fair grounds, Kohl told CJME she’s aware of the signage issues and is already planning for next year’s event.
“We’re just figuring out what kind of infrastructure we need and we plan to make that investment,” said Kohl. “This was something that we just didn’t expect this year.”
There were three designated smoking areas at this year’s Queen City Ex — one near the main entrance by the midway, another in a parking lot near Confederation Park and a third just outside of Kiddieland.
Regardless of signage issues, Kohl said smokers have been quite cooperative, and the overall feedback — especially from parents — has been positive.