Weak attendance reported at city’s 119th exhibition

Tim Wieclawski/metro ottawa


Amanda Vandenburg, 17, left, Marlene Ferron, 16, and Thomas Kitchen, 17, take a ride on the Spin Out at the Super Ex yesterday afternoon. Super Ex president Dave Presley said he would like to bring in bigger, better rides for the 120th anniversary edition next year.

When the weather was good, the crowds at the SuperEx were huge. When the weather was bad, the crowds were lousy.

Unfortunately for the organizers of Ottawa’s 119th annual fair, it was cloudy, cold and threatening to rain more often than not over the past 10 days.

“Attendance is down this year because of the rain,” said SuperEx president Dave Presley. “It’s one of the worst years I remember in terms of the weather.”

Presley said he can understand people not wanting to come to the fair when the weather is cold, it just means organizers will have to tighten their belts a little and be more creative raising funds with off-season events to help fund the move out by the Rideau Carleton Raceway.

Presley said the SuperEx board of directors is in the preliminary stages of planning some off-season events to make use of all or parts of Lansdowne Park.

He also said the board was looking into changing the layout and rides to mark next year’s SuperEx, which is the 120th anniversary.

“We realize it’s time for bigger rides on the adult midway,” he said.

Even though the move is still a few years away, a number of SuperEx patrons said they are happy with the Ex just the way it is.

“It seems big enough for me,” said Anthony Clayton, who has been coming to the Ex, on and off, for at least 30 years. He said the rides have changed, but the atmosphere is the same.

Angele Brisson from Gatineau said the SuperEx at Lansdowne Park is an inseparable part of the summer.

She said the parking could be better, but fewer people could walk or take the bus if the fair moves near the raceway, and it would be too far for many people in Gatineau to even bother making the trip.


potential move

  • Anthony Clayton thinks the Super Ex will be even more at the mercy of the weather if it is moved to the grounds by the Rideau Carleton Raceway since people can access Lansdowne Park easier.