I just hope they keep the corn dogs

If you haven’t made it down to Capital EX yet, you’d better hurry – Sunday is the final day for this year’s edition of the ex! Sharon and I made our annual visit last weekend, and ate way too much, enabled by a media package that gave us free food. It was fun, with some hits and some misses, but for the most part I found the experience similar to previous years.

Capital EX 2012

One of the new features this year was Ribfest. Its location was a little odd, but the ribs and pulled pork were both delicious. I’d like to see the competition aspect expanded in future years, especially as the vendors themselves seemed to enjoy showcasing their many trophies from around North America!

Capital EX 2012

Capital EX 2012

While walking the midway we happened upon the Canadian Beef Bacon wagon from Calgary. We decided to order the sliders, which gave us a nice sampler. To me it tasted a little like breakfast, with the beef bacon, an egg, and maple syrup-flavored bun. I really enjoyed it!

Capital EX 2012

Of course, no trip to Capital EX is complete without a corn dog and Those Little Donuts! Both were delicious.

Capital EX 2012
Forgive the picture, it’s all I’ve got!

Tomorrow is also the last day to Name Your Fair. Northlands is looking to rename the event next year, and after crowdsourcing suggestions from the public, narrowed the list of options down to six (with the help of partners Global Edmonton and the Edmonton Journal):

  • EdFest
  • The Edmonton Exhibition
  • Edmonton Summer Exhibition
  • K-Days
  • River City Festival
  • River City Summer Fair

Amazingly, that uninspired list is what they came up with after considering the following criteria:

  1. Relevance to the 21st century ahead.
  2. Consideration of the incredible historic growth and continued diversification of Edmonton’s multi-cultural fabric.
  3. Defining of the community spirit and outwardly fun characteristics that make Edmontonians who they are.
  4. Embracing of all demographics from new 21st century babies through to our shining senior citizens.
  5. Creative platforms enabling commercial partners to activate and deliver diverse and intriguing experiences.
  6. Agility that will allow a fresh and exciting new theme to be incorporated every year.

K-Days barely has any relevance to our past let alone our future. River City, while often used in Edmonton, could describe most cities in the world. And while the event is an exhibition, that’s not exactly the most exciting name.

Capital EX 2012

Why rename the event? Probably because attendance peaked in 2005, right before Klondike Days was renamed Capital EX. Maybe this is a case of garbage-in, garbage-out, but I find it hard to believe that those six names were the best suggestions the committee received. I don’t think crowdsourcing was the way to go this year. I think that no matter what the next name is, Edmontonians will like it better than Capital EX, simply because it will not have been the unlucky name to replace the beloved Klondike Days. For that reason, I think hiring an agency to do a complete rebrand would have been a better decision.

According to a news release sent out this morning, more than 40,000 votes have been cast in the Name Your Fair contest. It’ll be very interesting to see how many of them are for K-Days. You have until 6pm tomorrow evening to vote.

If those six names are the only options, I don’t really care which one wins. I just hope they still have corn dogs!

You can see more photos from our visit to Capital EX here.

Attendance Numbers for Edmonton’s Capital EX

Edmonton’s Capital EX wrapped up yesterday. Sharon and I visited on Thursday evening and had a good time. Today Northlands released the attendance numbers, and though slightly lower than previous years, the ten-day festival still recorded an impressive 717,966 visits. I had been looking forward to the final numbers, so that I could compare it with previous years.

Here are the attendance numbers for the last ten years (you can download the raw data below):

Though much of the data is missing, I was able to track down some numbers going all the way back to 1879:

After getting this information, I decided to compare it to the population of Edmonton for the same time periods. Here is the comparison for the last ten years:

And the same comparison starting in 1879:


A couple things to note about the data in this post:

  • The event changed from Klondike Days (adopted in 1962) to Capital EX in 2006. This explains the large drop that year.
  • The event was a six-day fair from 1912 to 1967, and a ten-day fair thereafter (I think, certainly for the last 20 years or so it has been). I haven’t adjusted the figures for this.
  • The population data, which comes from the City of Edmonton, doesn’t account for surrounding communities.

Download the Capital EX Attendance & Edmonton Population data in CSV

Sources: iNews880, CBC, Edmonton Journal, Amusement Business (1, 2, 3, 4), City of Edmonton, Capital EX Fair History

Edmonton's Capital EX

Post ImageLast night Sharon and I went to Capital EX (formerly Klondike Days, or simply K Days). The ten day festival ends tomorrow, and with rain in the forecast, I would expect attendance numbers for the last two days to be quite low. The rain stayed away yesterday though!

There’s a bunch of new rides this year, and many of my favorites are now gone (like the Drop of Fear and the Zipper). We only went on the ferris wheel, which we tried to time just right, so we’d see the fireworks at the same time. Apparently it was “too windy” though, so the fireworks were cancelled! I wasn’t impressed. We did get the ferris wheel ride for free pretty much though – as we were in line to buy tickets, this guy came up and offered us his card which had 11 credits left on it (we needed twelve, hence the pretty much free) as he had just received a wrist band from someone.

New to the EX this year is Ed Fest, a big concert series with some popular musical acts like Nelly Furtado, and Sam Roberts (who closed the show last night). You can hear the music from almost anywhere, so there’s no need to buy tickets really! The stage is pretty poorly placed though, because it is so loud, it drowns out the nearby Epcor stage which has magicians and other acts. It was really annoying, though the magician we watched made the best of it.

Another thing the organizers did this year was separate the little kid rides into a completely separate section. Very smart move, as it made it much easier to walk through the midway and to the normal rides. Inside the Sportex there was a display from the Art Gallery, which looked kind of neat in the pictures promoting it, but turned out to be really unimpressive in person (it was a river made of jars). There was also the usual stuff like the military displays, and the thousands of people hawking all sorts of crap.

And what trip would be complete without mini-donuts! I absolutely love those things, and they sure were tasty yesterday. I wish there was a mini-donut street vendor near the office – I’d probably be his or her best customer!

Read: Capital EX