Edmonton's K-Days planning to go ahead this summer following 2020 cancellation

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Edmonton K-Days is set to be held this summer after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the event to be cancelled last year.

The event’s website says the annual summer festival is scheduled to run from July 23 to Aug. 1 and planning is currently underway to make that happen.

“Planning is currently underway for K-Days 2021. With the health and safety of our community a top priority, we are planning and preparing to adapt to all public health orders,” reads the K-Day website’s home page.

Northlands, the event operators, did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday. An update on 2021 events posted to the Northlands website in November 2020 says they were planning to continue to operate the event in a modified way.

Premier Jason Kenney announced a provincial reopening plan Wednesday morning that centres around vaccination rates climbing and the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 dropping. Under the new plan, nearly all public health measures outside of isolation rules when infected will be lifted when 70 per cent of eligible Albertans have received their first vaccine shot, opening the door for summer festivals.

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Kenney said current projections show that benchmark could be reached by the end of June or in early July.

K-Days is held annually at the Edmonton Expo Centre and exhibition grounds but was cancelled last year as the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered all major events across Canada and around the world.

The event typically consists of a midway and fair as well as several concerts throughout the week and a trade fair. In 2019, the event ran alongside an international professional beach volleyball tournament.

When the 2020 installation was cancelled Northlands president Peter Male told Postmedia he was expecting K-Days to return in 2021.

“We’re looking at that and then we’re looking at our own bottom line and how do we survive?” said Male at the time.

Organizers of the Calgary Stampede, one of Alberta’s marquee summer outdoor events, has repeatedly said it plans to move forward with an event in early July.

Asked about the Stampede on Tuesday, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said that large events being permissible will depend on case numbers continuing to drop.

“The important thing to be able to reach that particular milestone of having a summer where we can have events like the Calgary Stampede, the important thing is that we don’t ease off our collective efforts too soon,” said Hinshaw.



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