Vancouver, B.C.- Due to changing regional weather patterns that have dramatically affected BC’s largest ticketed event, the Fair at the PNE, the organization responsible for staging the beloved annual event, the Pacific National Exhibition, will poll British Columbians on changing the historic end-of-summer dates to a mid-summer window.
“We have not made the decision to change Fair dates, we are just exploring the possibility. This is some very preliminary research on a concept that we as an organization have been considering for close to a decade,” says PNE spokesperson Laura Ballance. “The fact is, the weather patterns are changing and over the past 25 years, late August is consistently receiving more rain and experiencing cooler temperatures. Our long standing tradition that has us ending on Labour Day may no longer make sense from a weather perspective. We know that The Fair is a beloved event for thousands of families, so we’re going to talk to British Columbians about what they feel the impact of moving the Fair into a July window would be.”
The annual Fair at the PNE has occurred in the 17-day window ending on the Labour Day weekend for as long as most people can remember, but changing weather patterns have resulted in an average of twice the amount of rain during the last 2 weeks of August, compared to the last 2 weeks of July. Similarly, average daily temperature in late August is dropping slightly, while it is increasing comparatively in late July.
The Fair at the PNE is the only fair of its kind in North America, which does not receive government subsidy, so ensuring the best possible environment for attendees is paramount to the organization.
The PNE has engaged Insights West to conduct the polling, which will occur starting May 11. The PNE is also providing the polling questions via their website at PNE.ca for any member of the public to give their opinion.
“The 2015 Fair is a great example of why we are considering moving our dates,” says Ballance. “We started with our strongest four days in over a decade and then adverse weather resulted in a 10% attendance decline by the end of Labour Day.”
If the PNE moves ahead with a date change, it would be for the 2018 event or later. The 2016 Fair at the PNE will take place August 20th – September 5th, 2016 at Hastings Park, as scheduled.