The Fair at the PNE- The Tradition with a New Life


There are few things in British Columbia that match the PNE as tradition.

I know it is The Fair at the PNE but those of us who are older and were brought up here, always use PNE, referring to both the huge piece of property and the Exhibition (TheFair) taking place at the end of the school summer holidays.

It used to be the exhibition of the best of the province of BC: flowers, vegetables, needlecraft, home cooking, canning, farm animals, cows, sheep, pigs, chickens etc., all displayed for others to visit, view and admire the exceptional work of the individuals involved.

pne dancers


This has all changed!

Now, The Fair at the PNE  is the place we come to once a year to have fun with family and friends. We enjoy some of the old traditions like watching the Super Dogs, visiting the farm animals, learning a little about our world, sit and watch young entertainers, traipse through the Prize Home imagining it will be ours, enjoy the thrills of Playland,  gorge ourselves trying treats available only once a year, especially the mini doughnuts and head home happy and exhausted!

But, The Fair at the PNE is doing a fabulous job of entertaining us with new and exciting entertainment.

This year, you can learn about Alien Worlds and Androids in the Garden Auditorium.

Science fiction of the past is becoming our reality. Did you know the cell phone concept/model came from the Star Trek TV show?

This display hopes to inspire our further interest in new discoveries taking place at NASA  and JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory). You can learn how the android differs from a robot and see the models from the entertainment industry.

As you stroll through this interactive exhibition of the earliest models of improbable technology to the future beyond our planet and solar system, you can discover how astrophysicists, chemists and biologists study creatures existing in the harshest conditions, and how scientists use robots, telescopes and space probes to search for alien life.

This is a “not to be missed” exhibition, open from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm.

pne robot

Two hundred million people have downloaded the Angry Birds game since 2009. Now you can visit Angry Birds Universe: The Art and Science Behind a Global Phenomenon as a highly anticipated exhibit at The Fair at the PNE.

This immersive and interactive pavilion will allow fans to learn about acceleration velocity and to be safely propelled on zip lines to knock down the famous log (foam) barricades, go through a laser maze, use oversized slingshots, try the climbing wall and explore the Planetarium.  iPads are available to play and the exhibit is designed to provide an integrated approach to learning, educational concepts are experienced in a game environment.

There is a charge for this exhibit: $5 for adults, $3.50 for 6-13 yr and FREE for 5 and under.

pne angry birds

As you tour the energy efficient and environmentally friendly 3200 square foot Prize Home that is going to be built on the Naramata Bench, it is traditional to picture yourself in the hot tub on the deck or waking up in your beautiful bedroom overlooking the lake. We all do!

Another excellent educational free display is the Dinosaurs Alive! A Jurassic Experience.  You can walk by these 20 massive moving creatures and children of all ages will be thrilled and overwhelmed by this amazing walk down Miller Drive.

Entertainment abounds: 

Summer Night Concerts are FREE with admission but reserved seating is also available. There is a great line up of international talent including some Canadian singers. The price of admission is cheap for these all-star performers!

Unbelievable! A Magic Experience presents internationally known illusionists in the Coliseum every night at 7:30 pm.

Duelling Pianos occurs twice every evening at 7 and 9:45 pm in the Celebration Beer Garden. An opportunity to watch two pianists battle to be best while you benefit from their abilities.

Festival Park offers a chance to sit and watch the young emerging talent like Kaleidoscope while enjoying the large Adirondack (Muskoka for Canadians) chairs, or benches or just sit on the grass!

pne canada goose

The Craft Beer Fest is now in the Italian Gardens and features up to 50 craft breweries to sample.Tickets are available online to save.

Finally, for the kids of all ages:

The SuperDogs presented by Coca-Cola appear daily in the Coliseum at 12:30, 2:30 and 5:00 pm. These dogs never fail to impress. It inspires us to go home and work harder with our own family pets.

Kids Discovery Farm-in partnership with Safeway in the Livestock Barns allows kids to believe they are farmers for a day, an opportunity very few of our children have nowadays. This exhibit has been in place since 2009 and is becoming part of the PNE tradition.

Kids love the shows at the BCAA ToonCity Stage!

Mermaid Tales-A Magical Journey Under the Ocean and Let’s Pretend with KC Bear! alternate here and keep kids and adults amused.


They make it easy to get into The Fair at the PNE.

Children, 13 and under are FREE, Both Tuesdays are FREE, VanCity members get in FREE on September 1, Seniors have FREE admission on August 25, First Responders and a guest got in FREE on Opening Day.  There are a number of other passes available for the other dates and those not qualifying for the specials.

No matter how, or when, consider going to The Fair at the PNE for old times sake and for all the new additions!


One thought on “The Fair at the PNE- The Tradition with a New Life

  1. Sam The Wine Teacher Sam The Wine Teacher

    Great article Sylvia! I definitely want to buy tickets for the show home.

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