The CBC got me. I was tongue-tied and couldn’t get the words out. I felt mortified as I knew they would run the clip on the evening news, and knew that my friends at Northlands would be calling me first thing in the morning.
CBC Reporter: Mr. Ferguson, so what does the “K” in K-Days mean to you?
Mr. Ferguson: Umm … ahh … ahh … umm … ahh …I … I … … I got nothin’.
CBC Reporter: < Silence >
I watched the K-Days, Capital EX, Klondike Days branding saga unfold like the rest of you. I watched as it was revealed that the “K” could mean anything you wanted. I watched the parade and the TV ads and the website and tried to figure this “K” thing out. But like many, I couldn’t.
So I bought my ticket like the other people who attended, and I walked the midway which looked very much like the same midway when I was a kid. There were some new stages, different music, a pit row for rib eaters and an abundance of food vendors who believe deep-frying is proof of God’s existence on earth. Nothing seemed that different, except it was now called K-Days … oh … and the fact there were 781,742 fanatical fans all laughing, screaming, having fun and spending money.
What’s so wrong with that?
What my experience at K-Days did is confirm the very things that I love about this city. We’re a city that has an incredible blend of cultures, ages, tastes and styles. We are an entertainment destination for people from places as diverse Yellowknife, Grande Prairie, Camrose and Kitscoty. We have a personality that embraces our differences and knows that all things are not made for all people. And we have a reputation and an identity that is not defined by any one event or one festival.
The beautiful thing about Edmonton is that it has festivals and events for everyone … and we embrace the fact that we are the farthest thing from a homogenous melting pot of sameness, or that our identity is conscripted to the greatest 10-day show on earth. Some dance at the Folk Fest while others walk the Fringe Festival. Some appreciate Symphony Under the Stars and all too many still love Metallica. Some devour sausages at Heritage Days while others experiment with deep-fried butter at K-Days. It’s a city where you can opt-in or opt-out of what works for you … and if you want to create your own festival … hell, you can do that here too.
At the end of the day, everyone has favorites and everyone experiences things that don’t resonate. K-Days resonated with hundreds of thousands of people from Edmonton and a multitude of other places … and a big kudos goes out to Northlands for nailing it.
Carnies may not be my thing, and I still don’t know what the “K” stands for … but, wouldn’t life in Edmonton be boring if we all looked the same.
Maybe “K” just stands for K-Days. That sounds pretty good.