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Edmonton's Klondike Days Exposition

Summer FairEdmonton’s Klondike Days Exposition theme was introduced to Northlands Park’s annual summer fair in 1963. Proving to be a great success, the theme was maintained and popularized the brief but exciting Gold Rush period in the city.

Northlands Park Events Committee members proposed the exposition theme, but not all Northlands Park directors embraced the idea whole-heartedly. The summer fair already had a long tradition dating back to its beginnings as a regional agricultural event. Accepting the Klondike theme meant shifting from this rural focus and catering to urban crowds that sought consumer based entertainment they could take part in. Certainly, the original Klondike Gold Rush Northlands staff's dresswas filled with bawdiness and raucous entertainment—not Northlands Park family fare, but the Gold Rush also embodied the Klondike spirit revered by many people today. With winning points, such as an endless array of Klondike themed activities and the possibility for broader fair attendance, the theme was eventually accepted by all.

Much work had to be done in order to reinvent an occasion the size of the summer fair. The new theme, along with its inspiration, the late 1800s Gold Rush, had to be marketed to pique public interest and create excitement. Collaboration with downtown businesses and the City of Edmonton had to be fortified. Over time, a new Edmonton tradition was fashioned from its past and came to life over the 1960s, growing over the decades.

Through dedicated work the Edmonton Klondike Days Association cemented roles for volunteers in making the 19th century theme viable and relevant to regular citizens by providing an opportunity for enjoyment, and also for community involvement. Today, a host of community events attracts thousands of people.

Earlier Klondike daysSporting events, such as racing homemade rafts, engage Edmontonians across various sites in the city hosting Klondike Days events. Northlands Park has established links with the community, businesses, and government that allow for citywide festivities. Storefronts around the city can be found decorated for the fair. People working with the public can be found sporting signature clothing. Busy streets are shut down for the fair’s inaugural opening parade.

Midway ridesAmidst modern day gold mines and thrill rides, people of all ages can walk through and find something that catches their attention. Fashionable promenades, concession stands, live music, international exhibitions, and economic displays set Klondike days into motion.

Taking part in Klondike Days eventThe Klondike Days summer fair has helped to unify the city in its search for carefree fun while retelling an important part of the city’s development. The fair is recognized a prizewinner among North American fairs for its brand on eccentric novelty and boosting the local economy annually.


Featured Video: Edmonton's Klondike Days Exposition A brief history of Edmonton's Klondike Days Exposition featuring footage from the first year. Watch Now

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