10 Things to See and Do in Edmonton

10 Things to See and Do in Edmonton

Known as the “Gateway to the North”, and located on the North Saskatchewan River, Edmonton is the capital city of Alberta. The city has a population of more than 870,000 people making it Alberta’s second largest city. The city serves as a staging point for large-scale oil sands projects occurring in North Alberta and large-scale diamond mining in the Northwest Territories. It is home to North America’s largest mall, the West Edmonton Mall and plays host to a year-round slate of festivals such as The Works Art & Design Festival, the Edmonton International Street Performer’s Festival and K-Days, earning it the nickname “Canada’s Festival City”. It is also home to Canada’s largest living history museum called Fort Edmonton Park.

10. Edmonton International Fringe Festival

Held every August in Edmonton, the Edmonton International Fringe Festival is the oldest and largest fringe (arts) festival in North America. There are over 200 shows with more than 800 performers taking part in the festival each year. In 2014, there were over 210 shows with 1,600 performers and had more than 665,000 people in attendance. Old Strathcona which has a number of theaters and a number of other venues play host to the festival. The streets and alleys become filled with street performers and masked or costumed actors promoting their plays. The actors are not responsible for finding or running their own venues unlike the Edinburgh Festival. The Edmonton Fringe provides a venue, a set number of performances, two technicians, front-of-house and ticketing services, and general festival marketing for a nominal fee. The performers are chosen by a lottery each year and the entertainment is second-to-none. Some of the regular previous performers include Ken Brown, Rapid Fire Theatre, Die-Nasty, Panties Production and Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie to name but a few.

Street Performers

9. Edmonton Corn Maze

Now in its 15th year, the Edmonton Corn Maze is a popular attraction for all ages. Creating one of these mazes is no easy task either; the corn is planted in the middle of May, then in mid-June, the maze is cut into the field. If all goes well, the maze is open to the public by the end of July. By the middle of August, the corn has reached its maximum height. When the first frost comes (usually in September sometime), the corn turns brown. Then the corn is harvested in early November. The weekend after Thanksgiving weekend is the last weekend to visit the maze. Each year, a new mind-bending, challenging maze is unveiled. Those who venture into the maze should allow themselves at least an hour to find their way through since the maze is 5km of twists and turns and contains around 85 decision-making points. The correct path through, only takes about 30 minutes, but most people are not that directionally-gifted. If you decide to take the challenge, it may be a good idea to take the children with you. They are usually a little more energetic and can cover more of the wrong paths faster.

Corn Maze
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