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
Last 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