From rides to games, live concerts and rodeos, the BCNE had it all this past weekend.
Big crowds came out for the four day summer attraction, even despite poor weather on Sunday. The empty exhibition crowds once filled with plenty of people have now been cleaned up.
Between Thursday and Sunday, it’s estimated about 50 thousand people attended the fair says BCNE President, Alex Huber. “About ten thousand less than last year, but numbers still were good, the people that were here spent money, the midway was expanded, we had 22 rides this year where as last year we only had 14, the revenue was good, and it was a good year.”
Although attendance was down, the fair still did hold its own compared to last year’s five day event in honour of Prince George’s centennial celebration. Huber says that still didn’t stop the BCNE from bringing in a new experience this year. “Some of the new things we did this year, the chainsaw carvers, we had eight professional carvers come in and they had a competition,” he said. “We hope to make it an annual event.”
Huber mentions the event typically attracting younger kids playing games and enjoying rides also had no shortage of things to do for the older crowd. “The seniors last year only occupied about half of the Kin 3, but this year they had the whole kin 3,” he said. “Every year there’s more vendors, more entertainment, and more music for them.”
CEO of Tourism Prince George, Erica Hummel, says the BCNE is one of the City’s marquee events for tourists each year. “It definitely brings in thousands of people, spending their time at the BCNE, but also bringing their families to the hotels, the restaurants, and to the other attractions we have in town as well.”
Not to mention, the economic impact it’s had. “”On average, they’ll spend about 100 dollars each, and so if you do that, put the numbers through say five thousand out of town visitors, you’re looking at about a 500 thousand dollar impact to our economy,” Hummel said. “So for three or four nights, that will bring about a two million dollar economic impact.”
As for next year, plans are already in full swing. Huber says the BCNE hopes to go even bigger for Canada’s 150th birthday. “To go back to a five day fair and possibly adding some more events, hopefully logger sports will come, the carvers will come back, and rodeo will make a return, so we’re already planning for next year’s fair.”