Things that begin with the letter K in K-Days

K-Days GigCity EdmontonPutting the “Klondike” back into K-Days – the festival formerly known as Capital Ex that was formerly known as Klondike Days that was formerly known as the Edmonton Agricultural Society Manure Fair in a story too dumb to go into here – has left the gates wide open for other fun things that begin with the letter “K.”

The announcement was made Monday that Bonanza Park shall now be known as “Klondike Park,” that Klondike Kate will make a comeback, that children may once again pan for gold or ride the K-Train. We’re still waiting for Klondike Mike and King of the Klondike and an admission that K is for Klondike and that’s it. But no! There is much more to “K” than a “Klondike Day,” insists Northlands, the organization that has run the event since 1879. There is just the one Klondike day now, on July 28, when citizens of all ages are encouraged to dress as our rustic forefathers in their Sunday best, that is: to relive the recent past of reliving the distant past. That didn’t exist. The rest of the fest, July 19-27, shall be what it always is: A big, loud, fun, greasy carnival midway that sucks your wallet dry. It shall be a fantasia of K-possibility!

Northlands CEO Richard Andersen told the Edmonton Journal, “There’s a whole focus on kids, concerts with a ‘K,’ crazy fun. We’ve begun to see all sorts of evolutions around the actual ‘K.’ ”

It’s a challenge. K is a hard letter to work with in Scrabble, and it’s only worth five points. There are several unpleasant things that begin with K: Kafka, the Ku Klux Klan, KFC. We want nothing to do with those. Only fun things are allowed at K-Days, which is why organizers have seized on any fun word that even contains the word K: They advertise “rocK” with the usual assortment of eKciting K-related performers, like Karly Rae Jepsen, along with people like Burton Kummings, Kolin James and Klassified. Can’t get enough of those guys – and those are just the K’s!

Here’s another evolution of the K: Karma: The concept that deeds in one’s past will come back to bite you in the ass. For example, Edmontonians of the early ‘60s had neither history nor a good reason for being here beyond work, so they did what good creative Edmontonians have always done: They made it up. The Klondike theme – bogus origin, silly costumes, but it was something – held up for almost half a Century until Northlands decided to change it to “Capital Ex” festival, which the public hated so much that Northlands flip-flopped and invited the public to give it a better name. One of the choices offered was “K-Days,” which to the surprise of no one won by a landslide.

And here we are. Come to think of it, they never did get around to taking out the gold panning attraction. It’s been there the whole time. Knuckleheads.