Pacific National Exhibition (PNE)Pacific National Exhibition (PNE), host of an annual 17-day summer fair held in Vancouver's Hastings Park. Founded in 1907 as the Vancouver Exhibition Association, it was later named the Pacific National Exhibition. The first annual fair, then called the Industrial Exhibition, was opened on 16 Aug 1910 by Sir Wilfrid LAURIER. At the time, it was one of the largest fairs of its kind in North America, second only to the New York State Fair. The attendance for the first fair was 68 000 people. Since then, the fair has become the largest annual ticketed event in the province, and continues to draw in excess of 900 000 visitors each year.
The 6-hectare (15-acre) amusement park known today as "Playland" has been host to millions since its opening on the PNE site in 1910. Named "Happy Land" in 1926, the park moved to its current location in 1958 when the name was changed to "Playland." Originally owned by a number of parent companies, the park became a division of the PNE group in 1993.
A main attraction of the site remains the Wooden Roller Coaster, originally constructed in 1958 and today regarded as one of the finest examples of traditional wooden roller coaster structures in the world. Each year, over half a million people ride the roller coaster, which was created by the legendary ride construction team of Carl Phare and Walker LeRoy.
Historically designated as green-space for the East Side of Vancouver, Hastings Park has been the site of the PNE annual fair since the fair's beginning in 1910. It has also served as a venue for activities such as horse racing, concerts, professional sports, conventions, trade shows and movie shoots for over a century. The park covers approximately 66 hectares (162 acres), making it one of Vancouver's largest parks, second only to Stanley Park. The PNE manages the site on behalf of the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Park Board maintains and programs the section of the park known as Empire Fields.