Northlands announced Friday it would be cancelling its annual K-Days Parade that traditionally kicks off the summer midway event in Edmonton.
The decision was made after extensive discussions, guest surveys, reviewing industry best practices and factoring in declining attraction attendance and “current fiscal realities,” Northlands said.
The organization’s president said the choice was not an easy one.
“After exploring all options and much discussion, we must listen to our guests, who have told us very clearly that they want to see us invest in onsite programming,” Northlands president and CEO Peter Male said in a statement.
“Redirecting the substantive amount of money required to stage the parade into onsite programming allows us to increase the calibre and amount of overall fair entertainment, which is our priority.
“Ultimately, we must ensure that K-Days is fiscally responsible and remains viable now, and for years to come.”
Male said it cost about $160,000 to stage the parade.
Northlands thanked all the volunteers who worked on the parade every year and acknowledged their “incredible contribution… their gift of time to the organization and city.”
“The volunteers who have supported K-Days for generations are the heart of this organization,” Male said. “Quite simply, this event wouldn’t happen without them. Our entire organization thanks those volunteers who have focused their efforts on the parade, and we’re hopeful they will continue to be part of the event in other areas.”
This year, K-Days runs July 17 to 26. Staff say it will feature a “significant amount” of new programming, including the global debut of a special feature pavilion.
More information on the festival, including the musical lineup, will be made public on April 20.