K-Days 2014

There's nothing better than K-Days to make you feel like a kid all over again!

BY EMIL TIEDEMANN

I REMEMBER when I was just a kid and my parents would take my siblings and I to Klondike Days at Northlands. What more could a kid ask for than what was happening at the Midway? 
 


There were lights and sounds everywhere, coming from rides that spun you around, turned you upside down, or made you wet your pants. There was every possible junk food we could think of all in one place, and an endless supply of things to see and do. It was the ultimate playground for us.

As I got older K-Days, or Capital Ex as it became known, didn't hold that same charm as when I was a child, although that's not to say it didn't cater to folks who were now too old to be screaming for "MOM!" on the kiddie coaster. Now I was there for the live music, the beer gardens, and maybe to do a little people watching. But checking out the grounds was just not on my radar anymore.

Fast forward to now, and I'm in my 30s with no children of my own, but it's been many years since I strolled the grounds of the renamed K-Days. To be honest, I've even come to miss the sounds and sights of the 10-day festival that takes over the city every summer (July 18-27).

So, to maybe recapture some of those lost childhood memories of years past, I thought I would spend an evening under the lights of giant Ferris wheels, swirling roller coasters, and spinning carousels.

Last Saturday was the perfect day for it too...no scorching sun to burn my pathetically weak skin; sporadic rain to cool us off and keep the crowds at bay (or at least, I thought); and at 9:30PM Our Lady Peace would hit the stage for the evening's live entertainment (click HERE for all scheduled performances). Perfect!

My best friend and I picked up our Ride-All-Day passes from the Rexall box office and headed into the grounds at close to six in the evening. Our first stop was the Ferris wheel, and it was only after we were a couple stories above the ground that we noticed there was an even bigger wheel further up. So, we hit that one up too, of course.


But the rain had picked up while we sat across from a couple of strangers in that second Ferris wheel, so when our ride was over we headed for the Expo Centre. $7 (each) later we were sipping on beer and Smirnoff Ice at one of the picnic tables fenced off from the grounds. We downed our drinks and were off again.

Despite the light rain and the overcast, the crowds grew, meaning that line-ups stretched beyond 5, 10, and even 20 minutes. This was the case for almost EVERY ride, other than those not included within the Ride-All-Day pass umbrella ($40 per person), such as the Slingshot and Mach 3.

It would be a shame to waste the passes, and because we hadn't splurged for the $20 Midway Express Access Pass that would allow us to cut in front of everyone for quick access to the rides, we spent the next 45 minutes waiting to get onto the roller coaster, only after we abandoned the idea of the beer gardens due to a ridiculously large line-up that stretched all the way back to the stage where OLP were belting out songs from their new album and hits from their past.

We tried a couple of the games, wasted 30 seconds on the "haunted house" ride, ate some pizza and chocolate-dipped frozen bananas, and then headed out.

Despite the long line-ups and pricey drinks/food, K-Days rehashed all those precious memories from when I was a child, and there's no denying that atmosphere of exhilaration and glee that the Midway offers. In other words, it was all worth it!

Our Lady Peace

Here are some of my tips for taking in K-Days this year:

-If you despise lengthy line-ups, then splurge for the $20 Midway Express Access Passes, which allows you to go straight to the front of the line! (NOTE: This pass does not include the price of the rides themselves).

-Wear sunscreen! If the day you check out K-Days is anything like the Saturday I went, then you won't need to worry about sunscreen. But, on hot sunny days, make sure you have sunscreen with you at all times.

-Bring cash! There are ATMs throughout the grounds, but if you want to avoid lines and bank fees, come prepared with enough cash to last you for the whole day.

-Plan how you are going to get there. The LRT is your best bet for the grounds (Coliseum station), although if you are going to drive, there are plenty of temporary parking lots that are charging anywhere from $10-20 a spot. Avoid parking in front of homes, where you're bound to get ticketed. Northlands parking costs $15.

-Get there early if you can. Each day the Midway opens up at Noon; so if you want to avoid the line-ups and crowds, try and get there by Noon and the playground is your ... well ... playground!

-Wear the right shoes! Remember that you will be doing A LOT of walking throughout the concrete grounds, so make sure you're wearing comfy footwear. If you're going to take in the rides, avoid wearing shoes that might fling off mid-air!

-Bring disinfectant wipes. There are thousands of people who take in K-Days each day, and many of those folks have dirty hands! If you have wipes with you, you might not worry so much about touching the rides, the games, the door handles, etc. Let's admit it, people are gross!

-Enjoy! Have a good time, leave the bad moods at home!

For all ticket information click HERE! Fireworks are nightly at 11:00.

K-Days Timelapse Video!

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