People Hurtling Themselves Through the Air

PNE Atmosfear Ride 1236 Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

… or, to be more accurate, paying to be hurtled through the air by assorted mechanical devices.

At the PNE 1219 Copyright Shelagh DonnellyThat’s just what these people, and many more, were doing yesterday at Vancouver’s Pacific National Exhibition, also known as the PNE.

We weren’t on any of the rides yesterday, but the good old wooden roller coaster (below) is a favourite from my teen years. It’s just a little bit older than me, and is aging well.

With gorgeous views of Vancouver’s North Shore Mountains for those who might not be entirely consumed by the lifts and drops, this roller coaster reaches speeds of 72 km/45 miles per hour.

PNE Rollercoaster 1189 Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

Labour Day Monday is the traditional close of the fair, before local students return to school Tuesday.

PNE Crowds 1225 Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

This past Sunday, we joined what seemed like tens of thousands of other people on the sun drenched fair grounds.

PNE Crowds 1223 Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

Sunday at the PNE, there was a healthy lineup for a 50th (can you believe it?) anniversary tour of The Monkees. I’ve written here about Bette Graham, mother of Michael Nesmith. The show featured two of the three remaining Monkees, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork. If none of these names mean nothing to you, ask your parents or a friendly aunt or uncle … or just click here.

Super Dogs PNE Audience Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

The crowd pictured here, though, wasn’t part of the Monkee’s audience. It was just part of the full house you can consistently see for perennial favourite, the SuperDogs show.

What else do fair goers do other than trust the engineering and mechanics of rides that had them flying hundreds of feet through the air? Well, if you’re like us, you stop for a sausage on a bun at Hunky Bill’s. Bill Konyk, his son and a third generation and great staff run what amounts to the longest running food stand at the PNE. Konyk first started selling his perogies at the 1967 PNE.

Others chose Curry in a Hurry or Wok This Way, if they hadn’t already given in to the barbecued chicken.  For us, after Hunky Bill’s it was off to the lemonade stand where people wash down all manner of decadent, deep-fried indulgences. For us – and tens of thousands of others – dessert at the PNE means just one thing: a stop at the Those Little Donuts stand, where you’ll enjoy tiny, but piping hot doughnuts sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.


There are also loads of tamer rides for younger visitors, games through which you toss down money for the chance of a plush prize (or not), and a tour of the 2016 PNE prize home. During my elementary school years, we lived in a neighbourhood of such prize homes, and every visitor who buys tickets dreams of being the lucky winner.

Then there’s the Agrodome, which is a big hit with the 4H crowd  as well as those who want to learn about (or, in this case, cuddle) animals.

Cuddling the Cow PNE Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

That’s a day at the PNE. Do you have any similar end-of-summer traditions?PNE Merry Go Round 3043 Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

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