VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Fewer people attended the Fair at the PNE this summer than they did last year.
A total of 705,381 people walked through the gates between Aug. 18 and Sept 3, 2018.
Attendance was 722,466 last year and 712,367 in 2016.
Only 678,193 people went in 2015, during a summer that featured a windstorm that even prompted organizers to shut the event down for an hour on a Saturday.
Organizers point to smoky skies and air quality advisories, as fewer people visited The Fair in its first week. But they say attendance held strong through the second week.
“We have been blessed with some good weather but unfortunately, we got a slow start with the smoke that was affecting the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley,” said Laura Ballance who speaks for the fair.
“We budget for between 700,000 and 750,000. In that, we include about four days of rain. We really cross our fingers and hope that that doesn’t fall on that final weekend — or any of the weekend days,” she added.
This year marked several PNE anniversaries, including the 40th year for the SuperDogs, the 50th year since the opening of the Pacific Coliseum and Those Little Donuts, and the 60th anniversary of the Wooden Roller Coaster.
To make those iconic mini donuts, 22,000 pounds of dough was used this year. To date, 100 million of them have been sold.
About 92,000 corn dogs, 34,000 cotton candies, 20,000 racks of ribs, and 365 cricket caramel apples were sold.
“This year, we’ve had a very good response to the Summer Night Concerts and getting the right artists to touch different genres,” added Ballance.
She added discussions are already underway in preparations for next year’s event.
– With files from Tim James