Edmonton’s first responders will lead K-Days Parade

WATCH ABOVE: As part of a decision to recognize local and everyday heroes, Northlands announced Edmonton first responders would be the K-Days Parade Marshals. Emily Mertz reports.

EDMONTON — Edmonton first responders will serve as this year’s K-Days Parade Marshals.

The marshals will include Edmonton police, firefighters, paramedics, RCMP, sheriffs and soldiers.

It’s a move intended to thank those that serve and protect Edmonton on daily basis.

“We are humbled by your service and we look forward to saying thank you as a city to you at the K-Days Parade on July 17,” said Tim Reid, Northlands President & CEO

The first responders only found out about the decision when it was announced at the K-Days Launch Wednesday morning. As they walked in, they were greeted with huge applause and a standing ovation.

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“It’s a little bit overwhelming,” said Melissa Edwards, public information officer with EMS.

“I think that the recent events have made the public more aware of the first responders in their communities,” she explained. “[They’ve] brought our roles to the forefront a little bit more as opposed to just being there, they recognize the services that we provide for them now.”

Mayor Don Iveson also announced the day of the parade, July 17, has been proclaimed Edmonton Heroes’ Day.

“Whether a first responder or an everyday hero, this is our opportunity to celebrate what’s important to us,” said Reid.

“And to recognize those who contribute to the greater good of the city in both big and small ways.”

Northlands announced it had donated $10,000 to the D. Woodall Family Foundation.

WATCH: Northlands’ video explaining how this year’s K-Days Parade will honour and thank the heroes that touch the lives of our community daily.

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Global Edmonton and Northlands ran the Local Hero Contest from May 20 to June 26 as a way to recognize individuals who have improved their community.

Six people were chosen from the contest as Honorary Parade Marshals: Kelly Micetich, Francisco Yu, Kyle Hazelhurst, Sophia Qaderi, Dan Johnstone, and Claire Pearen.

The six individuals received $2,500 to pass on to a community organization or charity.

“To each of our local heroes, thank you so much for making our community the best place to live in Canada,” said Reid.

“Each of you are shining examples of what can happen when we take it upon ourselves as Edmontonians to make our city great.”

READ MORE: Meet the local heroes who are honorary K-Days Parade Marshals 

Reid said the decision was about honouring community heroes and investing back in Edmonton.

“We’ve historically chased a celebrity and we thought those dollars were better spent here in the City of Edmonton, using those to celebrate our local heroes as well as contribute back to charitable organizations and celebrate those who keep us safe everyday.”

Edmonton’s first responders will lead K-Days Parade - image
Emily Mertz, Global News

The K-Days Parade will follow a new route this year starting at 106 Street and 102 Avenue, looping around 100 Street and making its way back down 103 Avenue to 106 Street.

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The event runs July 17 to 26. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to pass through the midway gates.

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