Tornado Hunter Greg Johnson to watch skies above Regina fair grounds during Ex
Up to 40,000 people could visit the fair during a typical day at the Queen City Ex
Greg Johnson, a specialized weather-watcher, has been hired by organizers of the Queen City Ex in Regina to keep an eye out for severe weather.
Storms, or just intense downpours, can happen fairly quickly but organizers say they have enough room to keep everyone safe.
The Ex can attract up to 40,000 visitors, through the course of a day, to the fair grounds at Evraz Place.
"Even if we do have a weather system come through we have space to accommodate all those people indoors without having to send anybody home," Neil Donnelly, vice-president of events for Evraz Place, told CBC News Wednesday, the day the midway and exhibits opened. "We just shut the midway down, evacuate the outdoor property and people can spend some time [indoors]."
Security of the site, which sprawls over some 100 acres, is also a key consideration for Evraz Place.
Donnelly said the grounds are patrolled by a group of 40 police officers, in uniform and plain clothes, as well as between 60 and 100 private security guards.
"It's a fairly large security and police presence," Donnelly said. "Our thinking and strategy behind that is: if we have a good strong presence it just deters anything from happening on the grounds."
Donnelly also reminded parents to plan ahead, just in case they get separated from their children. One suggestion is to write a contact phone number on a sticker and attach it to youngsters. That gives Evraz Place staff a quick way to get in touch with caregivers and have them reunited.