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Fort Edmonton Park pushes grand reopening due to COVID-19

Click to play video: 'Get a sneak peek at changes coming to Fort Edmonton Park' Get a sneak peek at changes coming to Fort Edmonton Park
Fort Edmonton Park is closed for regular admission this season but an upcoming event will give you the chance to get a sneak peek at the work being done there. Here's Gord Steinke – May 20, 2019

After a massive renovation, Fort Edmonton Park is pushing back its grand reopening due to the COVID-19 situation in Edmonton.

The park had planned to reopen over the May long weekend, but now says it aims to open its doors on Canada Day, subject to restrictions and guidelines.

Once the gates to the renovated park do reopen, visitors will be required to pre-book their tickets. The park says tickets will be available online in the coming weeks.

“We can’t wait for Edmonton to see what we’ve been building. It’s going to be a totally new and immersive experience,” Darren Dalgleish, president and CEO of the Fort Edmonton Management company said in a news release Tuesday.

Read more: First glimpses of Indigenous cultural attraction at Fort Edmonton Park

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The park closed to the public in September 2018 to begin renovations. The project includes utility upgrades, new features and exhibits, new attractions to the Johnny J. Jones Exposition and a new admissions area and front-entry plaza.

Click to play video: 'Campaign to ‘Light the Midway’ at Fort Edmonton Park' Campaign to ‘Light the Midway’ at Fort Edmonton Park
Campaign to ‘Light the Midway’ at Fort Edmonton Park – Apr 25, 2021

One of the biggest changes is the Indigenous Peoples Experience. The attraction calls it the “new signature exhibit” at the park in the North Saskatchewan River valley.

In a news release, the park describes it as a place to gather and explore life through the diversities of First Nations’ and Métis’ peoples’ histories, cultures, experiences and perspectives. The exhibit will feature a look at life in the Beaver Hills, or Edmonton, region.

“The stories, music, artwork, and text in this experience comes from local Indigenous perspectives, voices, and sources, gathered through engagement with local Indigenous communities, historical documents and research,” the park said.

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A view of the interior of the Indigenous Peoples Experience. Courtesy/Fort Edmonton Park

The exhibit was designed in partnership with the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations and the Métis Nation of Alberta.

Read more: Fort Edmonton Park renovations to start late

New experiences added to the midway include a new Ferris wheel, an outdoor maze, a funhouse and expanded game selection. The carousel and swing ride are still in the midway as well.

“We’re so proud of the new 30,000 square-foot Indigenous Peoples Experience, and the midway will really be a chance for families just to have some old-fashioned fun, which we could all use this summer,” Dalgleish said.

A rendition of Fort Edmonton Park renovations. Courtesy: Fort Edmonton Foundation

The renovation cost $165 million and was funded by all three levels of government.

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