Sunday, August 22, 2010

One Hundred Years and Counting

That sign says it all. The PNE is celebrating its one hundredth anniversary this year. I don't live far from the grounds and walked up today to take some pictures of what is going on around. Within a few streets the atmosphere around me changed. People and cars were everywhere.

Some were running although I didn't see anyone getting pushed. I didn't understand at first what the rush was -after all the fair does last two weeks - but I later found out that it was free admission before noon. After noon the regular admission price of twenty dollars kicked in.

In 1910  then Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier opened the fair which was then called the Industrial Exhibition. Back then it was a show for agriculture and such. Though there is still the remnants of an agricultural show there, this non profit fair has exhibitions of animals, performances, numerous stalls and shops and, of course, the draw for the PNE show home. Yes, the lucky winner wins a house.

For the last century the PNE has been held at Hastings Park, except for the years of 1942-1946. There was talk about moving the fair and Playland to Surrey but, fortunately for we Vancouverites, the fair is staying put. Numerous upgrades have been done to buldings - some torn down then replaced while others have been upgraded. It looks like the PNE may just be there for another 100 years.

Part of the fun of going to the PNE is to go to Playland.

This is the oldest amusement park in Canada and it is the home to The Coaster. Designed by Carl Phare and built in 1958, this thrill ride has a speed of up to 48 mph and a maximum drop height of 75 feet. No thank you.

The Coaster was featured in the 2004 movie, Riding The Bullet which was based on a novella by Stephen King.

Another ride I cannot see myself on is this one.

The log carrying the people up to here doesn't look so bad. It is the next part that I don't like.

From there they go down! But the line up waiting to get on it was long.

Every year Playland replaces two of its rides with two new ones. As well they maintain the older ones. Playland is open from April to the end of September and reopens from mid-October to the Halloween weekend. But during the PNE extra rides are provided by Westcoast Amusements.

The PNE also attracts music. Bryan Adams and Michael Buble have already performed this year. Free with gate admission are such performers as Cindy Lauper, Huey Lewis, Wayne Newton, Kevin Costner and Michael Bolton.

 I admit that all my photos are taken from the outside looking in and there are reasons for that. 1.) At this time I have other areas that are more needful of my finances. 2.) I don't really have a lot of interests in the rides although seeing some of the exhibitions might be enjoyable. But the main reason I am not attending this year is that I don't like the crowds. Seeing them from a distance for a short period of time is okay but actually being in the midst of them all is not too appealling. Especially when I walk with a cane.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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