The heart and soul of K-Days: More than 900 volunteers bring this year’s exhibition to life

Click to play video: 'Volunteers help bring K-Days to life again in 2019' Volunteers help bring K-Days to life again in 2019
WATCH ABOVE: As thousands of visitors flock to K-Days this week, there are hundreds of volunteers who work to bring one of Edmonton's biggest annual events to life – Jul 24, 2019

Tucked away in the Northlands History exhibit is a living, breathing example of Northlands history.

This is Jeannette Brownlee’s 57th year volunteering at K-Days. Travelling from her farm in rural Alberta to Northlands every day to volunteer was a regular part of every July.

Brownlee’s work in the Agriculture Hall through the years makes her most proud.

“That’s the root of when you think of Klondike Days,” Brownlee said. “It’s agriculture.”

READ MORE: Monday Morning Magic lets kids with special needs take over K-Days midway

After more than half a century volunteering for the exhibition, she’s also developed a passion for doing whatever it takes to bring Edmonton’s biggest and oldest summer festival to life.

Jeannette Brownlee proudly shows off her pin marking 55 years of service at Northlands. Eric Beck / Global News
Jeannette Brownlee proudly shows off her pin marking 55 years of service at Northlands. Eric Beck / Global News

“I said, ‘Put me where you need me,'” said Brownlee. “I thought, ‘That’s a good volunteer’s judgement because you know a little bit of everything, or you learn how to do it.'”

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Walk around K-Days and you’ll see them everywhere ⁠— people in blue golf shirts, aged eight-94, giving up part of their summer to volunteer at the exhibition.

“We’re volunteers… and it’s what we enjoy doing,” said Peggy Dick, currently back for her eighth year.

Peggy says they’ve all got something in common.

READ MORE: Walking midway with beer one of new features at 2019 K-Days festival

“I think that you’ve got to enjoy being around people, you’ve got to enjoy meeting new people too and really having a lot of fun with it,” said Dick.

This year, 903 volunteers ensure critical tasks, like the lost children program, are taken care of.

After 25 years on the team, Marlene Peters helps recruit past volunteers to come back each year.

“I phoned a man who was 96 years old,” said Peters. “And he said to me, ‘You know what dear, I’d love to come but I can’t come this year but phone me next year.'”

“They’re coming, they’re cheerful and they’re glad to be here like me.”

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Watch below: It’s a special day at Edmonton’s K-Days festival. The gates opened early for Monday Morning Magic. Margeaux Maron reports.

Click to play video: 'Monday Morning Magic at K-Days!' Monday Morning Magic at K-Days!
Monday Morning Magic at K-Days! – Jul 22, 2019

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