jeff hodson/metro vancouver


Members of the Peking Acrobats perform at the PNE yesterday during a sneak peek of some of the fair’s new acts.

As fairgoers flood the gates of the 97th annual PNE tomorrow, organizers will have their sights firmly set on the fair’s upcoming centenary.

“Not many things turn 100, especially in a young city like Vancouver,” said Michael McDaniel, president and CEO of the Pacific National Exhibition. “We’re going to put the building blocks in place to get ready for our 100th.”

McDaniel would not talk specifics, but promised a world-class event in 2010 and said the fair was using the preceding years to build up to it.

This year, he said, the PNE is offering its most extensive programming yet, a full $4-million of free shows and entertainment. Concerts include the likes of Canadian Idol Eva Avila, Tanya Tucker and Micky Dolenz of the Monkees.

In addition to favourites like Superdogs and the Dal Richards Orchestra, the PNE is welcoming a number of new acts, including the Peking Acrobats, the Globe of Death motorcycle show and a Toontastic Celebration Parade.

The PNE runs until Sept. 3.

Starts tomorrow

  • The fair opens tomorrow at 9 a.m. Admission is free until noon.