What a Festival! A Guide to Enjoying Klondike Days in Edmonton
One could call it the festival of a thousand names and not be far off. In its history, this event has been referred to as the Edmonton Exhibition, Klondike Days, Capital Ex, and K Days. Regardless of the name, this festival offers fun for everyone.
Klondike Days combines some of the oldest traditions of the City of Edmonton and the Province of Alberta with some of today’s favourite entertainment. Held in and around the Edmonton Exhibition Centre, the event draws hundreds of thousands each year, all looking to enjoy fun activities while learning more about the area and its history.
After celebrating its 150 year anniversary in 2019, K Days in Edmonton looks to continue to grow the 10-day extravaganza into one of the country’s premier festival events. Planners have packed one of the best lineups of K Days concerts, food, heritage, and fun yet.
Schedule and Special Events
Klondike Days features some of the best variety of family fun and entertainment in the area. This includes music for a variety of tastes, food for almost all preferences, and much more. Attendees can enjoy learning more about Edmonton and Alberta’s role in the Canadian gold rush.
They can also enjoy special Feature Days that have events planned around certain themes.
This year, K Days will feature three separate Feature Days. These allow attendees with special interests or affiliations to enjoy entertainment geared for them.
- Tuesday July 23 – Senior Day – Special lineup of senior-oriented events, including “The Lonely,” a Roy Orbison tribute band.
- Thursday July 25 – Pride Day – K Days encourages you to be you and celebrate your pride. Events include music from BOIGRL, Man Up, and more.
- Sunday July 28 – Family Day, sponsored by Londonderry Mall – Check out a full range of exciting events and music for kids of all ages.
Klondike Days Combine History, Heritage, and Having a Great Time
Don’t let the variety of names over the years lead to confusion. As time has passed, the changing names have reflected changing times and popular tastes. Like the people, the province, and the country have grown and evolved, so too has the festival.
The event started over 130 years ago as the Edmonton Exhibition. This took place on the original Fort Edmonton site and was held by the Edmonton Agricultural Society. During the late 1800s, the rapid advances in technology and techniques caused an explosion of productivity and innovation. Around the world, exhibitions showed the world the best of a particular region’s agriculture, industry, and science. People came from far away to marvel at the new products available or coming soon.
By 1904, 20,000 people came to experience the exhibition, leading organizers to expand it to six days and to move it to a more spacious facility at the current Exposition center.
Success in Edmonton led several other cities to launch their own exhibitions. Into the early 20th century these events have drawn growing crowds. By the 1960s, however, interest in the area’s heritage had developed. Additionally, the popularity of “Wild West” movies and a general fascination with the history of those times really pushed the era into the consciousness of the young.
At this point, organizers decided to expand the focus from something exclusively modern to include the historical. Although the Canadian Gold Rush centered more on areas to the north and west, Edmonton served as a vital station to assist travelers in moving to these regions.
In 2006, likely in an attempt to gentrify a festival based on farming and historical kitsch, the name of the festival changed to Capital Ex. While many welcomed the change in focus to something more sleek and modern, attendance started to drop. Attendance finally rebounded when a vote selected K Days as the official name, though Klondike Days was never presented as an option.
Today, the festival continues to grow in popularity and importance. K Days brings between 700,000 and 800,000 attendees per year, adding millions to the local economy.
The Taste of Edmonton
In some ways, one of the latest additions to K Days has brought the event closer to its roots. Originally, the festival centered around agricultural products. The Taste of Edmonton features representation from the entire breadth of the food community. With a growing number of restaurants committing to bringing local farm products to their table, one can now taste more than ever what the hardworking Canadian farmer can produce.
The Taste of Edmonton also features skilled and innovative chefs and cooks who bring culinary techniques from around the globe to display at the festival and also their establishments in the area.
As with much of K Days, the Taste of Edmonton relies heavily on volunteers and partners to make each year’s event a success. It also requires the support of generous sponsors such as the largest Canadian gambling company CasinoValley. Those interested in supporting or participating should inquire online here.
Participating in K Days in Edmonton
Without vendors, however, the event would not have nearly the same level of excitement or interest. Many come to the event with the expectation of shopping through a truly diverse range of vendors offering everything from food to handicrafts.
Klondyke Days hosts hundreds of thousands of attendees, thanks to its live music, special feature days, and more.
Organizers say that the amazing variety of vendor products is what truly puts the “wow” factor into the event.
Vendors can apply to place their establishments in one of four main areas, including:
- Indoor shopping area
- Prairie Pine Emporium
- Food Hall
- Independent midway.
The two indoor shopping emporiums and the food hall provide great spaces for artisans, antique dealers, food sellers, and others, to sell their wares. Attendees can experience all of that and more in the outdoor midway area. Here you will find a carnival-like atmosphere, complete with fairground-style food, crafts for sale, and exciting rides.
Those who want to take part in Klondyke Days through selling goods and food, providing rides, or operating games booths should place an application here. Do not wait, as spaces are limited.
K Days Ticket Information
K Days has set its ticket prices for 2020. They are as follows:
|Adult 13 and older||$20|
|Senior 60 and older||$18|
|Youth seven to 13||$18|
|Child 6 and under||Free|
Special passes are available for those who want to ride the attractions in the midway section. You can purchase a $51 ride all day (or RAD) pass. Other coupons and passes are available as well.
Tickets cannot be refunded for any reason and the events will continue no matter what the weather. The program schedule is subject to change.
Finally, with event safety in mind, be sure to examine the prohibited items list before visiting the event area. Intoxicating substances, weapons, anti-camera devices, and other items cannot be brought into the park.
Music and Entertainment
We all know that Alberta has a talent and the K Days stage is designed to showcase it. From July 24 through to 27, starting at 7 PM each night in Hall F, adults and children will compete for a $2,000 prize and the honor of winning the K Days Talent Search.
On the South Stage, you will find a tremendous lineup of eclectic and alternative performers from across the area in the K Days Music Festival. Prepare to enjoy experimentation and excitement over ten days from some of Canada’s most popular and innovative performers.
If you love music from established performers, up and comers, and future stars, do not miss K Days.
On any given night on the Tim Horton’s Main Stage, you can find thrills and fun. The Main Stage can offer anything from mysterious magical acts to hilarious comedy.
Make sure to check out all of the music and entertainment fun during the festival.
K Days Parade
Since 1903, the festival has used parades to promote the event. Discontinued during the Great Depression and Second World War, they returned in the post-war years to add yet another element of interest to the event.
Nothing heralds the arrival of a great time like a parade, and the K Days Parade is one of the best.
The K Days parade serves as one of the best symbols of the event’s unofficial motto, “10 Days of Fun.” The route starts at the intersection of Jasper Avenue and 108th Street, turns left on 101st Street, veers left again on 103rd Avenue and stops at the junction of 103rd Avenue and 103rd Street.
This parade features fun that will warm the hearts of young and old alike. Attendees will enjoy countless inflatable cartoon animals, marching bands, flag twirlers, incredibly beautiful and intricate floats, and much more.
For more information, please peruse the K Days website. You can also reach the organizing office by calling 1 (888) 800-7275 or email [email protected]. The staff can answer any questions whether you plan on coming as an attendee, a participant, or one of the valued volunteers.