It’s that time of year again: the sweet scent of deep-fried donuts is wafting in the air, the screams from the brave souls strapped onto the Beast are audible from blocks away, and the poh-pohs wielding handmade signs advertising parking for $15—no, $10!—are out in full force.
But with admission to the Fair at the PNE, which takes place from Saturday (August 18) to September 3 (with closures on August 20 and 27), starting at $9 and ride passes at $36, the annual summer fete ain’t cheap. (And that’s not counting all the red-velvet corndogs and cricket-coated candy apples you’ll doubtless be devouring.)
Below, a list of special gate promotions and free admission days being offered at this year's Fair, so you can plan your visit—and save some moolah—accordingly.
Heroes’ Opening Weekend
August 18 and 19, from 11 a.m. to late
Current and retired police, RCMP, paramedics, firefighters, and military personnel, as well as their plus-ones, get in for free during the Fair at the PNE’s opening weekend. First responders must present a valid First Responder service card at the gate.
August 18 and 19, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
To mark 50 years of music and sporting events at the Pacific Coliseum, those wearing sports-team gear or a concert T-shirt get into the Fair for only $2.
Free Admission Tuesdays
August 21 and 28, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Admission is once again free for all guests on both Tuesdays during the Fair’s run, this year thanks to support from Vancouver International Airport. However, re-entry stamps will only be given after 1 p.m.; guests are free to re-enter the Fair prior to 1 p.m. without a hand stamp.
Wild Ride Wednesdays
August 22 and 29, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Attendees may nab two ride passes for the price of one on hump-day. The promotion is only available onsite, and does not apply to ride coupons and complimentary passes.
August 22, from 11 a.m. to late
Flashing your B.C. library card and photo ID at the gate will get you a discounted admission of $6 on the Fair’s first Wednesday.
August 23, from 11 a.m. to late
Guests who are 65 years of age or older will receive free gate admission and free Ferris wheel rides all day.
Out at the Fair Day
August 30, from 11 a.m. to late
Purchase a pair of Pride socks at the Fair’s Hastings and Renfrew streets entrance—or bring a pair that you nabbed during the Vancouver Pride festivities this month—and enjoy free admission. All proceeds from the socks benefit the Vancouver Pride Society.
Vancity Member Special
From August 18 to September 3, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Vancity members pay only $8 at the gate for the fair's entire run.
From August 18 to September 3, from 11 a.m. to late
BCAA members can see bcaa.com to receive discounted gate and ride passes.