Every year, my birthday is during K-days (and yes K-days has gone through some name changes, but whatever). And every year that I can, I try to volunteer at least a shift or more at the Kiwanis slide. It is the Kiwanis Club of Edmonton's largest fundraiser and helps fund all of our activities and programs for children of all ages. This year I volunteered three shifts at the slide. Two days were 4-8pm shifts (and I left the K-days grounds shortly thereafter), and one shift was noon-4pm (which was followed by my spending the rest of the day on the grounds to actually take in some of what K-days has to offer).
My slide shifts were great this year — while we were rained upon a lot this K-days, for all but 10 minutes of my slide volunteer shifts, the slide was open and running. This was great for me and my enjoyment of the slide. I also helped with slide set up the week before K-days. We had some interesting attendees this year during my shifts, the most interesting being a K-9 service dog in training went down with his trainer/owner twice. Quite a few people recognized me from Save-On-Foods (and I had to explain that I didn't work there anymore but yes, I did work there in the past). A few friends stopped by to ride the slide or just say hello. And I found out the winners of the best new food at K-days.
Food is important — it is rare that I go to K-days and not spend at least a bit of money on food. And with the knowledge of the top 3 rated places for new food at K-days I went and ate them all! The glazed donut grilled cheese sandwich was delicious and well deserving of the #1 award! I had the Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich and while it wasn't as good as Schwartz's in Montreal (whatever is?!?) it was probably the second best I've had. And I did eventually have the root beer popsicle. I also really enjoyed the mini-donut popscicle (which had half a mini-donut in it!), the ruby sparkle lemonade with grapefruit and mint was great, and the red velvet mini donuts were pretty good too. I never made it to the nutella truck while it was open, and my other food adventures were decidedly mediocre (though filling which was the point at the time, I suppose.
This year's feature pavillion was Adrenaline Rush and well yesterday I had the time to really take that in. I won a free game (for one) at Breakout Entertainment (and I won a 20% off coupon on a different day too) as I figured out the second (but not the first on a different day) box puzzle I was given. I went and rode the inflatable zipline (and my arms are sore today from it — perhaps I need to take up chin ups or something?). I did the zorbing thing (which was exhausting but fun and crazy!) and I jumped from a platform to land on a big air pillow. I have no problem with heights but I was nervous/filled with adrenaline enough that I hesitated nearly ruining my jump… I was pretty jittery after but food helped. I also looked at the Australian animals, watched a trampoline show, and generally enjoyed the fact that so much stuff here was free!
The shopping at The Neighbourhood and at The Grand was not to my liking (yay for spending less money!) and while the video games looked like fun, they were super busy with kids so I didn't partake in those activities really. I did wander out and watched DJ Harman and his friend DJ Flash from Toronto spin some tunes. They played many crowd and fan favourites so that was fun to do as the rain calmed down just in time for the Presidents of the United States of America concert which I had been looking forward to for quite some time. I was standing right in front of the barrier (only Security between me and the band really) for the whole concert!! This was awesome — and they played my FAVOURITE song of theirs: Some Postman!! I was so floored and happy that they did that! They really did feel like rockstars on stage playing their 2 and 3 string guitars. The drumming was awesome, the crazy guitar moves were great and the show was such fun! Even the encore was entertaining with a wig and a tiny midway motorbike featuring strongly! Their biggest fan had come up from Seattle and she danced throughout the concert using a megaphone and did mosh through the crowd several times (including overtop of me which was a bit awkward — it had been AGES since I had been in a real moshpit and this one was an odd experience). There were others who moshed but she was the only one to do so several times. I was right beside a mother and her children (the girl being maybe 8ish? She seemed very young. The security guy who rescued the moshers before they fell to pavement wanted to make sure the kid was safe and that was a nice touch).
I don't think I ever realized just how many Presidents of the United States of America songs I knew until I watched them play this concert. They played so many songs, there was such great audience interaction (in the form of singing along etc!), and there was some real rockstar guitar moves (playing the 2-string behind the back, odd positions, balancing on the drumkit while the drummer was still drumming etc.).
The biggest downside to the concert (other than when someone moshed over me knocking my glasses ajar, which really isn't a huge problem in the longterm) was that there were 4 separate occasions where I was coughing and wheezing super badly because of pot smoke. It was bad enough at one point that the kind security guard offered to extricate me from my awesome spot if I needed it and the mother beside me inquired about me too. But I made it to the end of the concert happily.
I took the LRT home and watched the fireworks from the traincar. It was a good end of my K-days experience for another year.