The Pacific National Exhibition's 2013 Fair -- its 103rd to date -- was not marred by weather, but instead power outages at Hastings Park on the middle Saturday and the last Thursday. In fact, those were two of the worst days for attendance at the Aug. 17-Sept. 2 Fair, according to statistics that are published below for the first time.
What you didn't know: A power outage delayed the opening of gates on Aug. 24 so the attendance for the middle Saturday of the Fair -- traditionally one of the biggest days -- was a disappointing 48,874. Another power outage happened in the evening on Aug. 29. The day's weather was mixed -- partly cloudy, sometimes rainy -- but only 26,363 came through the turnstiles. That was the worst-attended day of the entire Fair. Organizers were hoping for more because Aug. 29 was the day Vancity credit union debit and credit cardholders were admitted for $5 each.
The best-attended day was the third day -- Tues. Aug. 20 -- with 76,902 fairgoers. Why was that? Well, Port Metro Vancouver sponsored free admission to all comers from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There was also a free two-hour promotion on Aug. 27, to make-good for the Aug. 24 power outage. That Tuesday's total was 64,580.
Tickets and parking at the 2013 Fair were both cut from $20 to $16 each and kids under 13 were free. The touring Chinggis Khan exhibition, the only brand, new marquee attraction at the Fair, was an extra $3. There was no price break at the gates during the middle weekend of the civic fair, which was in competition with the free admission, civic-sponsored 125th anniversary of Stanley Park. The PNE drew 48,874 on Aug. 24 and 53,048 on Aug. 25. It is not known how much the free festival at Stanley Park impacted the PNE's revenues, but it certainly was not a business-wise move by the Vision Vancouver-dominated city council. The true anniversary of Stanley Park could have been observed on Sept. 27, the date it was opened in 1888.
The PNE fairgrounds were closed on Aug. 19 and 26 to cut costs.
Next year's fair runs Aug. 16-Sept. 1, 2014.
|Saturday||August 17, 2013||29,976|
|Sunday||August 18, 2013||31,129|
|Monday||August 19, 2013||0|
|Tuesday||August 20, 2013||76,902|
|Wednesday||August 21, 2013||36,039|
|Thursday||August 22, 2013||36,594|
|Friday||August 23, 2013||45,547|
|Saturday||August 24, 2013||48,874|
|Sunday||August 25, 2013||53,048|
|Monday||August 26, 2013||0|
|Tuesday||August 27, 2013||64,580|
|Wednesday||August 28, 2013||33,499|
|Thursday||August 29, 2013||26,363|
|Friday||August 30, 2013||41,126|
|Saturday||August 31, 2013||66,222|
|Sunday||September 1, 2013||67,588|
|Monday||September 2, 2013||54,562|
What do you love or hate about Vancouver's annual PNE Fair? Did you go to the 2013 Fair? Leave your comments below or email me here.