K-Days parade to take over downtown streets on Friday

The K-Days float at the 2017 K-Days parade in downtown Edmonton on July 21, 2017. Larry Wong / Postmedia, file

After navigating construction detours all summer, Edmontonians will get to enjoy the reason for road closures when the K-Days parade kicks off downtown on Friday morning.

Starting at 10 a.m., the parade will feature more than 100 floats including live performers, giveaways, antique cars, balloon artists and more winding their way through the city’s core. This year’s theme is Alberta Music, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, so it is sure to be a melodic float.

The parade will wind itself down Jasper Avenue eastbound from 108 Street towards 101 Street, where it will loop north and finish at 103 Avenue and 102 Street.

Last year’s official marshal was Canadian Olympic figure skater Kaetlyn Osmond of Sherwood Park and Alberta Special Olympians in honour of the organization’s 50th anniversary. This year’s marshals haven’t yet been announced. Past attendees have included federal politicians, cultural groups and local Alberta businesses, among many exciting performers.

The city is encouraging parade-goers and those who live and work downtown to take transit on Friday and to leave extra time for travel.

The blocks between Jasper and 104 Avenue from 105 Street to 108 Street will be closed to vehicles starting at 6:30 a.m. and ending at 1:30 p.m. Street parking and access to parkades in these areas will be limited as well, and drivers are encouraged to arrive early. Roads including 100 Avenue, 103A Avenue, 104 Avenue and 109 Street will remain open.

On the day of the parade, multiple bus routes running through downtown will be detoured and will go back to regular service in the afternoon.

ETS will also be ramping up bus and LRT service throughout K-Days to ensure attendees can arrive and leave safely.

Families can take advantage of the ETS summer family day pass to travel to the parade and K-Days, which allows five people and a maximum of two adults to ride ETS all day for $9.75. Children under 12 ride for free with a fare-paying adult.