07/18/2013 01:42 EDT | Updated 07/18/2013 01:48 EDT

K-Days 2013: Edmonton's Biggest Festival Back With New Name, New Attractions


Alberta's capital city is putting the Klondike back in K-Days.

Tomorrow kicks off Edmonton's biggest summer festival, K-Days, bringing with it a new name, new brand and new attractions to the yearly exhibition.

Previously known as Klondike Days (and then a much-ignored re-brand as Captial Ex), the fair has returned to its former nickname of K-Days.

Northlands, the founding exhibition group which has hosted K-Days since 1879, held a contest to figure out what the public wanted to re-name the festival.

“Last year, we introduced Name Your Fair so Edmontonians could really have ownership over the fair like they have in the past,” Lauren Andrews, public relations specialist for Northlands, told Metro Edmonton.

Along with a return to the name K-Days, the organization has spent hours deciding how to re-vamp the fair to better appeal to all Edmontonians.

Northlands is bringing back one of the festival's former popular attractions - panning for gold in the Chilkoot Gold Mine - as well as the return of 'Klondike Kate,' the exhibition's iconic songstress.

“We want to give a nod to the past and celebrate and relive the memories that are important to so many around the Klondike experience,” Northlands' CEO Richard Andersen told the Edmonton Journal Monday.

“There are dozens of re-thought features and this Klondike feature is just one part of the main menu of experiences.”

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Photo gallery Food To Be Found At K-Days See Gallery

The fair was long known as Klondike Days, but a controversial re-brand in 2006 to Capital Ex attracted backlash and attendance dwindled.

Mayor Stephen Mandel will kick off K-Days on Friday as parade marshall. The parade will feature 110 parade entries, including 28 dignitaries, nine giant inflatable balloons and seven marching bands.

Musical acts from across the spectrum will perform during the 10-day party, including Carly Rae Jepsen, Classified, The Tea Party and Down With Webster on the Koodonation stage, and Bruno Mars, Reba McEntire and Megadeth will hit the hit the stage at Rexall Place.

Organizers are also encouraging Edmontonians to visit the Edmonton Expo Centre to add their signatures to a giant card that will travel to Sochi, Russia next year and be presented to Canadian Olympians. They hope to break the Guinness World Record for most signatures obtained on a greeting card. The current record is 5,339.

“It’s just a great opportunity for our community to come down and wish these Canadians well in the Olympics,” Andrews told the Edmonton Examiner.

Foodies will also get their fix this year, as A Taste of Canada comes to K-Days.

The Expo Centre will be home to Canadian delicacies such as lobster rolls, bison sliders, Montreal smoked meat and salmon wraps - with local beer and wine to wash it down.

Traditional midway offerings will also be available, including mini donuts, pulled pork poutine, deep-fried pie and jalapeno fudge.

K-Days runs from July 19-28. Gate admission is $10.