The years spent attending the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) as a member of a 4H Club remain clearly in my memory. 5 days of not much sleep, constant colour and sound and people in between caring for our animals and – occasionally, winning prizes for said animals – was all exhilarating and part of growing up in southern British Columbia. These fairs big and small, are what thousands of people remember as part of their identity in the greater BC community. For students the PNE marked the end of summer and the start of a new school year, sometimes only hours after arriving home from the fair on the Labour Day Weekend. For others, it was a perennial event in western Canada that most often evoked good memories.
The rides on the wooden roller coaster, the food pavillion, games of chance and live performances each evening were all part of it. The defining thing that comes to mind of what the majority equate to the “PNE” experience…were the mini donuts. There was just nothing like them.
And in this crazy year where circumstance has been the mother, over and over, of great inventions this opportunity came along – with no PNE happening this year- to still get those sugary little blobs of deep fried memories distributed amongst, at least, the Lower Mainland population.
This unique event created by the organizers of the PNE , (initially to support those vendors who normally count on the fair for part of their yearly income) is an example of what can also in a small way help “community” during recovery from Covid19 retain past positive experiences – to help them move forward to whatever a new identify looks like for each. Every small step (and donut) helps.