Indisputable fact: Summer is the best time of the year.
Another indisputable fact: The PNE is the best part of summer.
Just in case you’re inclined to argue, here are the facts:
1) The SuperDogs.
2) The wooden roller coaster. It occurs to me, as I look around, that I’m the oldest guy in the lineup. What do the other old guys know that I don’t?
3) The little doughnuts, which are only good for about eight minutes after they come off the doughnut device fresh and hot. Also edible: the two-foot-long hotdog experience Double Dog Dare Ya, Jimmy’s hamburgers with fried onions and Hunky Bill’s Genuine Winnipeg Garlic Sausage. Best advice is do the Hellevator or the Atmosfear first, wait five minutes, then dive into a Double Dog Dare Ya. You’ve got 11 months and 29 days to recover.
4) The 4H exhibit. Every year some kid becomes a vegetarian after raising a heifer from birth only to sell it for sirloins.
5) The SuperDogs.
6) Dal Richards. He’s not quite as old as the fair itself, but almost – in seven years he’ll be the world’s only 100-year-old band leader. He leads a 14-piece band for two shows a day, all 17 days at the Fair. Beats that whippersnapper Kenny Rogers all hollow.
7) Whack-a-mole. Allows you to release 12 months of frustration by trying to hammer a moulded-plastic rodent into submission in order to win a giant pink bear. It doesn’t get any better than that.
8) The PNE Prize home. This year, it comes with a free lot in Kelowna. Talk about a long commute. Added enticements: $1,500 worth of groceries from IGA. People stand in line to check it out. I’d rather stand in line for the roller coaster.
9) The Pig Races. I’m sure that in another 100 years from now, our descendants will think there’s something barbaric about making Kevin Bacon and Britney Spareribs run around a track for our amusement. But talk about funny? I laughed so hard, I nearly cracked a spare rib.
10) The SuperDogs.
Imagine if you sat down to invent a summer fair in the year 2011. You would hardly begin with 73 varieties of exotic purebred rabbit, Nearly Neil and Hunky Bill’s Genuine Winnipeg Garlic Sausage. Then add a 93-year-old band leader and throw in the Hellevator. But it works. Every year. See you at the fair.