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People bump each other while driving the Auto Scooters at the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver, British Columbia, Wednesday , August 17, 2011. (Rafal Gerszak for the Globe and Mail/Rafal Gerszak for the Globe and Mail)
People bump each other while driving the Auto Scooters at the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver, British Columbia, Wednesday , August 17, 2011. (Rafal Gerszak for the Globe and Mail/Rafal Gerszak for the Globe and Mail)

Out there: Pacific National Exhibition opens its gates Add to ...

Pacific National Exhibition

Experience a weekend of nostalgia, junk food, joy, fear and total sensory overload as the Pacific National Exhibition opens the gates on its 101st year of rides, shows, foods, music, exhibits and more.

Perennial favourites such as the Peking Acrobats, the SuperDogs, the wooden roller coaster, the prize home and mini donuts are back – but the fair is also introducing a host of new features, including a motorsport show called Evolution of Extreme that comes with quad races, high-flying motorcycle aerials and even a snow sled jump; a drum corps that performs everything from AC/DC to current pop hits; top barbecue pitmasters vying for grill supremacy; and a nightly finale that pays homage to Vancouver using more than 200 performers, an original score and fiery pyrotechnics.

There’s also a new family theatre that will play host to popular children’s entertainers – and for the first time, all kids under the age of 13 get into the fair for free.

The nightly concerts, which come free with admission, include 1970s teen heartthrob Donny Osmond, 1980s hit makers Air Supply and Hall and Oates, country legend Kenny Rogers, crooner Chris Isaak, favourite B.C indie bands Hey Ocean! and Delhi 2 Dublin, bandleader and living legend Dal Richards and many more.

“The PNE is the last place left in British Columbia that captures the collective memories of generations of people. It’s part of the fabric of our province,” spokesperson Laura Ballance said. “We are entering our second century; in this part of the world, that’s quite a feat, I think.”

The 101st annual PNE opens on Saturday and runs through Sept. 5. For more information and schedules, visit pne.ca.

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