The PNE runs from August 18 until September 3. New at the fair in 2018 is the Action Sports World Tour, Lost World of Dragons, POPnology and Knights of Valour.
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Also new for 2018 is NOVA: The Emergence of Light, Street of Dreams, the Silver Starlets and Library Day discount day.
HERE’S WHAT’S NEW AT THE PNE IN 2018
Click on any of the above links to jump to a specific topic, or continue reading to learn all about the various new features for the PNE in 2018.
Also, for other general information about the fair, click Pacific National Exhibition, or, for a list of bands performing this year, click 2018 PNE Night Concerts. For details about food at the fair click 2018 PNE Food.
New 2018 Features at the Pacific National Exhibition
Vancouver’s PNE summer fair features some of the same things year over year including the amusement rides, Duelling Pianos, SuperDogs shows, market vendors and food stalls. These are all great and hugely popular. What’s nice about the PNE though, and what keeps it interesting, are the new attractions introduced each year. 2018 is no exception.
Below is a description of some of the new things to see and do this summer at the Pacific National Exhibition.
POPnology is a high-tech and interactive exhibit visiting from Sacramento in the United States. It showcases how technology has been influenced by popular culture (through literature and film) and features a Back to the Future DeLorean car, the world’s first 3D-printed car, a functional robot named Baxter and other futuristic technology exhibits.
The POPnology displays are in the Rollerland Building which is located in the northwest end of the PNE grounds across from the Pacific Coliseum. Admission is free for folk visiting the Pacific National Exhibition and doors are open daily from 11:00 am until 11:00 pm.
In addition to various displays to look at and read about, the POPnology exhibit also features some hands-on games. There is an old-fashioned Donkey Kong arcade machine that people can play, as well as a virtual reality exhibit which we highly recommend.
With the POPnology virtual reality exhibit, you get to put on a pair of goggles and find yourself on the top of a 3D skyscraper, or face to face with a monster Tyrannosaurus Rex in a giant room. It’s pretty cool! You’ll definitely want to see the dinosaur!
Click POPnology for more information about the exhibit and the American company behind it.
Action Sports World Tour
The Action Sports World Tour features skateboarding and BMX bike-riding demonstrations. Shows take place each day at 4:30 and 8:00 pm at the Pacific Coliseum and the cost is included with general admission to the fair.
Expect to see lots of jumping and other impressive tricks.
Lost World of Dragons
Over the last few years the PNE has hosted a selection of life-size dinosaurs that people could look at and admire. New for 2018, instead of the dinosaurs exhibit, the Lost World of Dragons showcases a number of electronically-animated fairy tale creatures.
The Lost World of Dragons can be found indoors at the Garden Auditorium which is located on the other side of the PNE Forum from the fair’s entrance at the corner of East Hastings and Renfrew Street.
Knights of Valour
Knights of Valour is a show with demonstrations of medieval jousting in the Agrodome. Folk on horseback and in armour battle it out in the ring.
Shows take place at 1:00, 3:00 and 7:00 pm each day and are included with general admission to the fair.
The jousting is fun to watch and it’s interesting to know that it’s real, full-contact jousting; it’s not just cleverly-choreographed entertainment. When it comes time to battle, they really are trying to knock one another off their horses.
Each knight weighs up to 390 lbs with armour, and each horse weights up to 2000 lbs. These are big fighting machines! And if you cheer your knight on loud enough, and he wins, he throws golden candies to the crowd.
TIP: The best place to sit is near the middle at the front on either of the two main long sides of the arena. That’s where the knights get suited up, so you can see them up close. Being near the front also improves your chances of getting some of the golden candy when it’s thrown into the stands!
Click Knights of Valour to learn more about the jousting show and the company that presents it.
NOVA: The Emergence of Light
In previous years the Pacific National Exhibition has ended each night with some kind of light show. Last year it was a light spectacle using drones up in the sky high overhead. In 2018 the show is called NOVA: The Emergence of Light.
The 2018 end-of-day light show is a futuristic light display in a large dome with live performers and cool special effects. It’s a free event that takes place in the Festival Park shortly after 10:00 pm each day.
Street of Dreams
Street of Dreams is a car show featuring a number of classic and vintage vehicles. It takes place outdoors all day every day of the fair along Miller Drive which is located at the north edge of the fairgrounds by the Hastings Race Course venue.
Vehicles participating in the exhibit are about 95% BC-owned. The collection includes classic cars, hot rods, muscle cars, trucks and bikes. Each day around 40 different vehicles are on display and over the course of the PNE season there will be a few vehicles getting added and others leaving.
Silver Starlets Acrobatics Show
The Silver Starlets is a team of aerial acrobats with shows every day at 12:30, 3:00 and 5:30 pm.
The Ontario-based all-female acrobatic troupe performs on a 6-metre-tall trapeze system in the PNE’s Festival Park. They entertain with their 45-minute aerial show featuring 3 different acts all over the continent. In 2018 they end their summer at the PNE.
Click Silver Starlets for more information about the group.
Library Card Discount Day
There are a number of ways to save money on admission and rides at the PNE. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, for example, have discounts for people arriving between 11 am and 1 pm. BCAA members and Vancity Credit Union cardholders also get discounts every day of the fair.
New for 2018, anyone in possession of a valid BC library card and photo identification can pay just $6 for admission at the gate on Wednesday August 22nd.
Click Pacific National Exhibition for an article with tips on other ways to save.
For more information about the PNE click Pacific National Exhibition.
For a map of the venue, click 2018 PNE Map.
In addition to the above new attractions, the fair also features new foods each year. To learn about some of the new vendor menu items for this year, click 2018 PNE Food.
For a list of other events going on around the same time as the PNE, check out the following:
- Vancouver’s August Calendar
- Vancouver’s September Calendar
- Lower Mainland Summer Activities
- Labour Day Weekend in Vancouver