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PNE goes back to ‘FUNdamentals,’ as stripped-down, COVID-era fair opens Saturday

Click to play video: 'PNE set to return with COVID-19 restrictions' PNE set to return with COVID-19 restrictions
After 17 months of uncertainty due to COVID-19, the Pacific National Exhibition celebrated its plans to reopen the Fair to the public starting Saturday. The 14-day event will feature perennial favourites, such as the SuperDogs, Lumberjacks, and Mini Donuts. But as Catherine Urquhart reports, pandemic restrictions mean crowds will be smaller than in previous years, and the PNE will be aiming to break even, not turn a profit. – Aug 19, 2021

One of British Columbia’s most popular summer attractions returns on Saturday, following a pandemic-induced hiatus in 2020.

The Pacific National Exhibition will open its gates for an in-person event, though smaller than in pervious years and with COVID-19 measures in place.

Read more: COVID-19: Vancouver’s Playland reopens with limited visitors

The PNE is billing the 2021 event as sticking to the “FUNdamentals.” That means fairgoers will be able to see fan favourites including the SuperDogs and lumberjack competitions, along with live music and farm animals.

Rides at Playland will be active and, of course, mini donuts will be in large supply.

Click to play video: 'PNE set to reopen Saturday with pandemic protocols' PNE set to reopen Saturday with pandemic protocols
PNE set to reopen Saturday with pandemic protocols – Aug 19, 2021

With the exception of the farm exhibits, which will be in the large, open agricultural building, most events will be outdoors. The SuperDogs, for example, will perform their routines in the outdoor PNE Amphitheatre.

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Read more: PNE organizers start planning for an in-person fair this summer

Attendees will need to buy tickets online ahead of time for specific dates.

In 2020, the 111-year-old PNE managed to keep the gates open by running a drive-through event to give families an activity to attend and help support staff and vendors.

The 2021 fair runs from Aug. 21 to Sept. 6.

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