Big changes are coming to the fabled 100-year old Vancouver fair
The PNE is about to undergo a makeover like no other now that, after a late distribution motion, the Vision Vancouver council under Mayor Gregor Robertson and Mayor "Geoff" Meggs swept in a new board headed by Coun. Raymond "240K" Louie. We say that it's about time that Hastings Park got the attention that it deserves, and returns to its place as the centrepiece of a new "fun" Vancouver.
How are Vision going to make the PNE the best it can be? The ideas are already flying fast and furious, along with this motion to Council passed in a late night amendment.
WHEREAS the Pacific National Exhibition has been an important economic generator and an important attraction for both locals and visitors to Metro Vancouver;
WHEREAS the PNE is now profitable after many years of uncertainty and declining attendance;
WHEREAS we've been known to polish off a whole bag of Those Little Donuts on our own, not to mention forcing back a giant kielbasa on a bun from Hunky Bill's;
WHEREAS the Superdogs are getting a little boring but we still park ourselves in the Coliseum for a show every year to keep the kids happy;
WHEREAS Playland rides make us sick just watching them spin around;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED we rename Playland after the new Vision Vancouver appointed PNE Chair and call it Louieland since everyone is going to have to grovel to him anyway.
Not surprisingly the motion passed 10 to 1, with Clr Anton opposed and Clr Woodsworth just a little grumpy.
What else does Vancouver's farmboy mayor and his council co-horts have in mind for The Fair? Think chickens, think gardens, think spin. Think gooood times.
Aside from the risky but interesting move to rename Playland to Louieland (and its Haunted House attraction to the "Donor Disclosure Dungeon"), Vision is really planning to leave its mark on all parts of the New PNE.
For example, Mayor "Geoff" Meggs has clearly had a hand in renaming many of the popular rides. The Westcoast Wheel is now called The Big Spin. The Wave Swinger is now dubbed The Spin Cycle. The ride known as Crazy Beach Party is now called Evil NPA. Hell's Gate is renamed The Washing Machine. The sickmaking ride called The Enterprise is now called The Sullivan. The Corkscrew is now called The Billion Dollar Boondoggle.
Games on the Midway have been rebranded to reflect Vancouver's ongoing struggle between management and the unions. Wac-A-Mole now has little Gordon Campbell heads popping up. And the dart shooting game now has little balloons with Judy Rogers' face on them. High Striker, the game where you slam a wooden sledge hammer down and try to ring the bell at the top of the pole is now called "Sam's Strike." Good work, Mayor Meggs!
The children's petting zoo, with all its little critters and farmyard feel is now called Andrea's Place after Coun. Reimer. Not sure what the kids will make of the loss of baby goats and bunny rabbits in favour of dozens of backyard hens.
Not to be outdone by her back-to-nature colleague the barn that shelters the horses, pigs and cows is now called The Deal Hotel.
After a three year absence from the PNE the demolition derby is now back as Tim Stevenson presents The Demolition Derby. A set of prototype cars constructed from empty plastic water bottles are expected to be the smash hit of this new show as the cars disintegrate upon impact and hurling the drivers into carefully placed cushions.
Delicate negotiations are still taking place to replace Dal Richards, of the Dal Richards Orchestra, with Coun. George Chow. Apparently a few members of the band aren't too happy about this but once it's confirmed you'll hear it here first at CityCaucus.com.
And Mayor Robertson...what's his part in re-making the PNE? Vancouver's farmboy mayor could hardly contain his glee when Joel Solomon and Carol Newell confirmed that Hollyhock will be moving into the Agrodome for the entire 17-day fair. That's correct, the Cortes Island retreat that hosts well-heeled agents of social change will now welcome Surrey chicks and Eastside tough guys into its hallowed halls. "It's gonna be super cool," said the Mayor who immediately posted it to Twitter.
The floor of the arena will be covered with yoga mats and PNE goers will learn about the mystic properties of chamomile tea, and how to set up their own donor-advised charitable foundation. Gregor will lead nightly meditations where the entire audience holds hands in a Circle of Power that allows the Mayor will channel the strength to ward off all of his enemies during the rest of his one term, and battle the nasty bloggers.
The Italian Gardens at the west end of the fairgrounds have already been planted to grow organic vegetables. At the urging of his GCAT advisory team Mayor Robertson has decreed that this year's PNE will be "the healthiest fair EVER" and every opportunity to replace junk food with healthy locally grown veggies. Out go the greasy burgers, root beer and mini-donuts. In comes freshly harvested carrots, peas in the pod, beet smoothies and green salad.
Your tastebuds may not thank the Mayor, but your waistline will.
We can all be thankful that finally this Council has a true "vision" for the PNE, and it will finally become the attraction it was always meant to be.