After 101 years the PNE still wows

You’d think being 101 would mean that you have little surprises left. Not true for the fair at the PNE.

The PNE

You’d think being 101 would mean that you have little surprises left. Not true for the fair at the PNE.

With hundreds of performances and exhibits, more than 50 thrilling rides and attractions including Atmosfear and all that food, the fair at the PNE is definitely the best part of summer. What better way to end your summer vacation than with a trip to the PNE, and this year children 13 and under will be admitted free each day of the fair. From Aug. 20 to Sept. 5 the PNE will be celebrating its 101st birthday.

The family theatre, with shows daily at 1, 3 and 5 p.m. features acts over the 17-day fair including Caillou, Toopy and Binoo, Max and Ruby, Sid the Science Kid, Care Bears, Shrek and more. Kids Playce at Playland provides the perfect setting for families looking to spend some activity time and the special grass picnic areas are perfectly suited for families looking to have a picnic right in Playland.

For the gamers in the family, the arcade buildings in the centre of the park provide the latest in games available from around the world. Many titles you won’t see anywhere else. In addition, check out the nearby basketball court for some three-on-three action, the climbing wall, haunted mansion, adventure golf or younger guests can hop aboard pirate adventure and slide down a plank. Then there is the traditional fair games like Wac a Mole, Ring Toss and others to try and take home a prize.

What is a fair without food? Visitors at the PNE can choose from a light snack to a fine dining experience. Of course you can’t forget the cotton candy, candy apples, elephant ears and mini-donuts.

The ride of the season? A thrill seeker’s dream? The estranged older cousin of the Wave Swinger? Yes it’s true, the PNE has a new ride, and adrenaline junkies are going to love it. That is, of course, if your preference is for rides that swing 360 degrees, while going 70 kilometres per hour at 218 feet high. Atmosfear will be Playland’s tallest ride, offering unparalleled panoramic views of the entire city (if you can keep your eyes open long enough to focus).

When your feet are sore from walking around the grounds, check out the over 500 community performers who showcase their talent at the PNE. The WestJet Concert Stage is also presenting a summer full of the best music. During the PNE be sure to check out the most successful rock duo in history Daryl Hall and John Oates, Chris Isaak, Donny Osmond, the raspy vocals of country legend Kenny Rogers, the youthful energy of iCarly star Miranda Cosgrove, classic rock sounds of Kim Mitchell or legendary icons Air Supply. Some of Canada’s hottest musicians are also playing including One More Girl, Stereos, Crystal Shawanda and more.

The fair also features several live shows such as Pop City, which explodes to life with high-voltage production numbers and hot special effects. Get there early as the sun goes down and the pyro celebration begins just after dark. Back for the 34th consecutive year, the Superdogs will be entertaining all ages with crazy canine stunts daily. The World’s Most Popular Dogs will keep children and families laughing and cheering throughout the show. In a new location this year is the Peking Acrobats, bringing their treacherous wire-walking, trick-cycling, precision tumbling, astonishing juggling and more to a bigger venue in the Pacific Coliseum. Other live shows happening daily include the death defying motorcycle aerials of Evolution of Extreme, Vancouver legend Dal Richards and his orchestra and the eco-friendly music experience World on the Water at the Hastings Park Sanctuary.

The PNE fair is open from 11 a.m. until late, weather permitting. Fair gate passes for 14-64 year olds is $20 and $8 for 65 years plus. Special savings on ticket prices are available online and on Aug. 22 there is free gate admission from 9 a.m. to noon.

A full listing of fair ride passes is available at www.pne.ca.