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PNE boasts 'great' turnout on opening weekend, despite smoky skies

(NEWS 1130 File Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It appears the haze blanketing Metro Vancouver did not hamper the opening weekend at the Fair at the PNE.

Laura Ballance, who speaks for the fair, said it was a “great” opening weekend and she does not think the smoke from the wildfires in the B.C. Interior had any effect on visitor numbers.

“It didn’t seem to have a direct effect on people’s on-site experience,” Ballance told NEWS 1130, “but it’s hard to say whether or not there were more people in the region because they decided not to go camping.”

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Ballance said there have been no complaints from fair goers about health issues due to the poor air quality.

“What we thought this year is that the response has been very strong,” Ballance said about the first two days of the 2018 PNE season, adding there was a “really good response to our opening weekend artists, Boyz II Men and Air Supply.”

She added she is keeping an eye on the air quality.

“I’m not too sure what the weather is supposed do over the next few days,” Ballance said. “It does seem to be a bit smokier today than it was over the weekend, so at this point we’ll continue doing what we’re doing until we get asked to do something differently by the various regulatory bodies. But it is unfortunately a fact: the summer of 2018 is going to be one where British Columbia and beyond are impacted.”

The air quality in Metro Vancouver remains very poor. For information on your region, visit the B.C. government’s Air Quality Health Index website.

With files from Tim James