A group of wildfire evacuees currently calling Regina home left the stress behind at Evraz Place and instead focused on an afternoon of fun and entertainment for themselves and their children Monday.
With the help of Rawlco Radio, SaskPower, Regina Transit and the Red Cross over 130 evacuees were bussed over to the Saskatchewan Science Centre to see the displays, demonstrations and games. They were even treated to popcorn and a movie at the Kramer IMAX Theatre.
“It’s exciting. Being stuck there at the centre is just boring and nothing to do, just play cards,” said a pregnant Hayley Iron as her son played on one of the displays.
She’s here from Pinehouse Lake and has been staying in the city for the last 13 days. It’s starting to take its toll.
“We really want to go home.”
Other evacuees admit they do indeed like it here, but still miss their families back in northern Saskatchewan. For Deschambault Lake’s Matthew Whitebear, he’s been able to deal with staying in the Queen City since his family is with him. However, that’s not necessarily making the temporary displacement a breeze for his loved ones.
“I can definitely say my wife misses home. Of course I do essentially, but my boys don’t get to do this at home,” he said as his two young sons whizzed down a slide yelling “wee”.
Children at the science centre got the luxury of playing with giant bubbles bigger than a person’s head, watching as a hot air balloon ascended to the roof, and listening to an experiment where the end result was a bang so loud those around it were asked to cover their ears.
Normally, Whitebear and other evacuees said they’d entertain themselves by hunting, fishing, or boating. Some admit it’s hard to find recreation up north. This change of scenery is refreshing for them in certain ways.
And the effort to take evacuees’ minds off of their current reality is not going unnoticed either.
“The help from the people that are volunteering is, it’s amazing that the community here in Regina is able to give so much,” said Whitebear.