I absolutely love summers in Edmonton — there’s always a festival going on, and plenty that are food related! One of the sure signs that summer is in full swing is K-Days, Edmonton’s biggest festival.
K-Days runs from July 22 to July 31 at Northlands this year, so you still have a full weekend to go enjoy carnival rides, shows, concerts, shopping, racing and gaming, fireworks, and of course, FOOD! Every year it’s become a tradition to go for a fun-filled evening with our friends Jody and Andrew. It’s also been a tag-along tradition for dark clouds to come as well, an hour or so of rain always making us move our party to the indoor attractions and shopping at the Edmonton Expo. Not that we mind that. This year I was invited by Northlands to visit the event as a guest and enjoy a night of fun. Here’s an overview of our date night!
Joe and I came a bit earlier to get a head start on the carnival food before the rain clouds settled in. Some of the new items for this year sounded delicious and we were anxious to grab dinner.
Chicken Waffle on a Stick from Wings and Fries was our first bites of the night and unfortunately they were out of maple syrup! Sad. The Southern fried chicken fried in a sweet waffle batter was lacking for us.
Bacon Beer Battered Corndog from Corndog King essentially tasted like a corndog with hints of bacon. We definitely missed out on dousing it with the bourbon BBQ sauce, a feature I wished our vendor told us before we moved on to the next vendor.
Jody and Andrew teamed up with us to order more food before we headed into the Edmonton EXPO. The Meatball Sub on a Stick from Pizza Casa was by far the best thing we had at K-Days (although Joe would argue that nothing beats the Mini Donuts), and won the 2016 Best New Food Contest. The meatballs were surprisingly moist, wrapped in pizza dough and baked with cheese and seasoned. Marinara sauce on the side made it a home run for all of us.
Rainbow Grilled Cheese from Melt Town Grilled Cheese is probably the most talked about food item for K-Days this year. Fruit-infused grilled cheese sandwich with blueberry, strawberry, and kiwi string cheese made it one of the most colourful grilled cheese sandwiches I’ve ever seen. It had a weird aftertaste to it, that artificial flavouring taste you get after chewing fruit-flavoured gums, but overall it tasted like a grilled cheese.
The Poutine Corn Dog faired a bit better, the hotdog itself was speckled with hash brown potatoes and cheese and then dipped into batter and fried like a corn dog. Top it off with gravy and it was a mess-free meal.
— cindy (letsomnom) (@cindurh) July 29, 2016
By this point, the rain was starting to come down a bit harder and gusty winds were really ruining our style. Time to go inside! The Grand Shopping Experience is always fun to browse around. I was happy to see the annual Pokemon booth pick up more business than usual this year because of Pokemon Go! An hour seemed to fly by (the massage chair displays took up a bit of our time) and before you know it, it was clear skies!
We were so excited to head back outdoors that we completely missed the other halls in the Edmonton EXPO. Last year, one of our favourite halls was the Techlife hall, featuring video and tabletop gaming competitions, exhibitors and a lot of hands on activity. This weekend, the attraction will also host the Canadian Drone Racing Championships!
Still full from our carnival eats from before, it was time for games! In our younger days, all of us would probably have opted for all kinds of rides, but it’s the game prizes now that really get me excited! This year’s notable prizes: minions from the Despicable Me made a reappearance; starter Pokemon for Pokemon-lovers; characters from the summer movie hit, Secret Life of Pets; and poop hats. Yeah, you heard me. There was this odd theme of cute poop characters going on this year at K-Days, from poop pillows to hats. There’s at least three different kinds of hats too.
— cindy (letsomnom) (@cindurh) July 29, 2016
I absolutely love playing the water shooting game. I have to credit my dad for all the tips he’s given me, I was trained early on to shoot on target at West Edmonton Mall. It’s the only game I’ll put money to play (and only after I’m up from playing the gambling game Over Under). Suffice to say, we were victorious after a reasonable amount of tries for two poop hats. They’re quite warm! 😀
Wandering around the grounds and enjoying the sights and sounds of K-Days is such a fun way to spend the night! It also makes you hungry for more food, so round two began:
One of the best value dishes for the night was the Teriyaki Chicken Perogies from International Perogies. Cheese and potato perogies served with chicken strips and a sweet ginger-teriyaki sauce, nori strips, green onion, and sour cream somehow all worked together and was a runner-up for us for best food for the night.
Not only are there new foods to try, don’t forget about the traditional mini donuts! Soft, bite-sized, fluffy donuts with cinnamon sugar is the only way to go! Normally, I’d also get an elephant ear but this year’s fried food quota has gone way over board for me!
Hong King style egg waffles made an appearance at K-Days this year, the Yummy Tummy a concoction of choose your own toppings. We chose green tea ice cream, gummies, chocolate sauce, and Pocky sticks to go along with our egg waffle in a cup. Talk about bizarre but it must be something in the lights and atmosphere of K-Days that made it still a treat to enjoy.
We missed quite a lot of food. I can only eat so much! Other items that were on my list but didn’t get a chance to try: the Western Duck from The Poutine King (duck confit poutine with roasted garlic, caramelized onions and Dijon mustard); Deep Fried Butter Tart from Pickle Pete’s (served with caramel and whipped cream); and the Bacon Mac & Cheese Super Footlong Hotdog from Super Footlong Hotdogs (footlong hot dog served with creamy macaroni and cheese, premium centre cut bacon).
That wrapped up our night! Loved that this year’s K-Days had a map of all the new foods and vendors, they’re harder to find than I thought! Keep an eye out for vendors that have a blue sign that says “New Food” and to make sure to grab a map! We were unfortunately missed the start of either music concerts (we were very busy eating and playing Over Under…) and were unable to stay for the fireworks, which starts at 11pm but both are main attractions for K-Days and ones that I’ve enjoyed in previous years. Check out the schedule for this weekend, headliners include Simple Plan and Finger Eleven for the weekend and your gate admission is basically your free ticket to the concert!
I’m looking forward to next year’s adventures with Jody and Andrew and can’t wait to see what K-Days brings us!
Disclosure: Thanks to K-Days and Northlands for inviting me to the grounds. I was invited as a guest to have an evening of fun, with gate admission, ride-all-day, cash for food, and special passes to the TD South Stage as part of my welcome package.