Check out what it was like on the PNE midway back in 1960 (VIDEO)


What was it like to hit the midway at the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) in Vancouver back in 1960?

The PNE was celebrating its 50th anniversary that summer, and this “Day in the Life” segment captured for CBUT TV (CBC Vancouver) gives us a glimpse at the sights and sounds of the fair by day and night, from the sleepy a.m. prep to the noisy, smoky night.

You’ll see in this clip that many things haven’t changed over the years – crowds still flock to the PNE to try their luck at games for garish prizes, rides (like the Scrambler, which is still there) provide gut-twisting thrills, and there are plenty of treats to enjoy.

Then again, a few things have changed – you won’t see staff in suits at the turnstiles, most fair-goers don’t dress up like they used to, there’s no smoking wherever you please, and we don’t have an “adults only” show of “ebony dancers” that offered a preview tease that turned some lovely young ladies into objects to ogle (it’s the most cringe-worthy part of the docu, for sure). There were a lot more casino-style gambling games and a lot less diversity, too.

Now want to see what PNE and Playland were like via photos from their first half-century? Check out this set of images for a little more time travel.

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Lindsay is the Managing Editor of Vancouver Is Awesome, and the co-host and co-producer of the Vancouver Is Awesome Podcast. A fifth generation Vancouverite and life-long foodie, Lindsay also serves as a judge for the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. Previously the Food Editor of Daily Hive, Senior Editor of Vancity Buzz, and Editor-in-Chief of, in her past life in L.A. she earned an MA in English, attended culinary school, and was an English professor. Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: // Twitter/Instagram: @squashblossom