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Northlands Park - Memories Worth Keeping
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Recreational

Silver Hawks Bicycle ClubWith its adaptable venues and year-round events programming, Northlands Park has had an opportunity to create a significant effect on local aspects of recreation.

The original summer fair put on by the organization in its beginnings period served as an opportunity for economic activity, but importantly, it also served a recreational function by providing people an opportunity to alter their routines for a few days. Trains travelling to the exhibition grounds from south of the Saskatchewan River brought large and eager crowds that would not depart until the end of the fair day.

Edmonton Flyers' playersFairs gave agriculturalists from around the province an opportunity to bask the recognition of the fruits of their hard labour. These early fairs set a precedent in the city for a justifiable and widely participated celebration. Over decades, Northlands Park summer fairs cheered Edmonton during the First and Second World Wars and later evolved into the Edmonton Klondike Days Exposition. Despite some new sights and sounds, the fair continued in the tradition of offering pleasurable entertainment.

Edmonton Flyers' playersLeisure activities offered by Northlands Park were not exclusive to the fairs though. Winter past-times were an important period for recreational activity, with hockey figuring prominently. When Edmonton’s popular Thistle Rink burnt down, the newly built Livestock Pavilion on the exhibition grounds became home to regional hockey games.

Post-war renovations lead to the Edmonton Gardens and ultimately, the Coliseum’s construction. These venues brought hockey teams to settle in the exhibition grounds. Edmonton Eskimos and Edmonton Flyers hockey teams and their fans helped to establish the city as a hockey destination, setting the groundwork for the National Hockey League. World-class ice and a Stanley Cup winning team only helped Northlands Park to improve its entertainment record.

Harlem GlobetrottersFacilities also brought other leisurely attractions to the city. In the summers, Edmonton’s Commercial Graduates basketball team and the touring Harlem Globetrotters would fascinate spectators. During the year, circuses visited the city, as did various ice skating troupes. Later on, venues such as the Coliseum also played a part in hosting international events like Universiade ’83 gymnastics.

RacingThe organization’s recreational impact has not been limited to sports. Avid gaming fans clamour around the sound and lights offered up by a collection of slot machines inside the Spectrum. For those preferring outdoor entertainment, Northlands Park has provided varying attractions. Horseracing, a popular sport in Alberta since the early 1900s, brings people to the grandstand or indoor viewing areas.

Concerts stream new crowds through the tiers of seating inside Rexall Place on a recurrent basis. There are an exponential number of ways in which people can find amusement through Northlands Park. Whether volunteering or screaming on midway rides, people continue to visit the park grounds for leisure.

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