PNE Chinese Lantern Festival shines

Chinese Opera lantern

The Chinese Lantern Festival has been lighting up the night at the PNE since December 15. If you haven’t had a chance to visit yet, this weekend is your last chance to experience the largest festival of its kind in Canada.

Spread over 14 acres of the PNE Hastings Park site, 35 intricate, illuminate Chinese Lantern displays bring colour and character to the winter nights.



Dozens of Chinese artists, spent a month prior to opening setting up the elaborate lanterns, including the amazing pagoda made of thousands of pieces of Chinese porcelain china set, stacked and strung together to create the massive structure which stands without any glue or fasteners except for thin white twine.

250ft Dragon

Amongst the Chinese cultural displays unique Christmas themed lantern; Santa, reindeer, snowmen, to bring a festive touch to the site.  Some of the colourful, Chinese cultural lanterns tell the story of Confucius, and Chinese Opera while others like the reflect symbols of fortune and good will; pandas, fish, flowers, and the centrepiece 250 foot long Dragon.

With nearly 50,000 people coming through the gates, the Chinese Lantern Festival has proved to be a popular winter event, and will surely grow in popularity when it returns for a second year, next winter.

The Chinese Lantern Festival at the PNE must close January 21, 2018. The site opens at 5pm each day, tickets can be purchased online at or at the gates at Hastings & Refrew Streets at PNE Hastings Park.

Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival illuminates PNE

This Friday, December 15, 2017, the PNE debuts the Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival, the largest of its kind in Canada. One of the most beautiful and culturally significant festivals will light up the skies of Vancouver with dozens of spectacular gossamer lanterns, some reaching nearly 200 feet in length.

Bin Zhu, Director of Sichuan Tianyu Culture Communication Co. Ltd says, “We believe our lantern festivals can improve cultural communication between China and the world.”

“It is a tremendous honour to have been selected by this leading cultural organization as the inaugural host in Canada for this important festival,” says Mike McDaniel, President and CEO of the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE). “We anticipate people from all ethnicities and cultures from across our region will be excited about the opportunity to see this important and impressive display.”

Lantern festivals started during the Han Dynasty, about 2,000 years ago. For centuries, lanterns festivals have been lit on the fifteenth day of the first month in the Chinese calendar to pray for a good harvest, and to gain favor of Taiyi, god of heaven. Today, the lantern festivals are still held each year around the country, with each major Chinese city having its own light festival.  In ancient times, the lanterns were fairly simple, and only the emperor and noblemen had large ornate ones. In modern times, lanterns have been embellished with many complex designs such as the ones that will be on display at the PNE.

The Festival will be featuring Dragon, White Pagoda, Kylin, and Huabiao Column lanterns, each lantern symbolizing a Chinese sage or legend. The columns are said to be protectors of the residents and a reminder for the emperor to pay attention to his duties.

In addition to the lantern displays, the festival will also include two nightly performances in the PNE Amphitheatre: Sunday to Thursday at 6:30pm and 8:30pm, and Friday and Saturdays at 7pm and 9pm. Featuring Face Changing, Acrobatics, Plate Spinners, Folk Dance, Jar Balancing and Erhu. These exciting performances are family friendly, and are sure to wow. The lantern festival will also feature a food and beverage program and additional children’s activities.

Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival opens December 15th, featuring 35 illuminated displays transforming over 14 acres of Hastings Park running daily from December 15th, 2017 (closed Christmas Day) until January 21, 2018.

For further information and tickets visit 

Fright Nights at Playland Opens Tonight

Western Canada’s most anticipated Halloween event, Fright Nights returns to Playland starting today October 6th until October 31st.  This year’s Fright Nights features returning favorites as well as never-seen-before attractions including a new haunted house, scaring up even more spooktacular entertainment for visitors.

For those looking for a paranormal experience, Haunted Mansion is geared to terrify even the bravest souls, and guests can attempt to overcome their fear of clowns in Car-N-Evil haunted house, and face their deepest terrors in Darkness. Favourite haunted houses, The Asylum, Fear, Hollywood Horrors, and Keepers Doll Factory are also back.

Guinness World Record holders for driving over a man on a bed of nails,  Monsters of Schlock, is back to terrify guests with three nightly shows from October 13 to 31. Guests can expect to be horrified with shows that feature meat hooks, and other cringe worthy entertainment. Look out for Playland’s favourite freak, Singe the Clown, who is up to his creepy antics for another year.  With freaky surprises, rides and a park full of gory ghouls, Fright Nights 2017 is spookier than ever and is the perfect event for every Halloween lover.

To maximize your thrills at Fright Nights, guests have the option to purchase a Rapid Pass, which offers the same access as a regular gate pass PLUS access to an expedited line for each Haunted House and The Beast, Wooden Roller Coaster, Atmosfear, and Hellevator. Guests will also be able to save $3 by purchasing tickets at participating 7-Eleven locations or online.

Playland warns that this event is not recommended for ages 12 and under, seniors 65+, people with sensitivity to strobe lighting or fog machines, people with high blood pressure, heart conditions, pregnant women or scaredy-cats. Absolutely no guest costumes or guest costume face make up allowed. 

Picks of the Week : August 30, 2017

In this picks of the week we find another month comes to a close but brings with is a long weekend full of fun

Spectacle: The tall ship Amara Zee provides the backdrop & stage for a free, unique, acrobatic aerial musical Climatopian Spectacle – Nomadic Tempest along the shores of False Creek until Sept 3rd

World: The newly expanded to two-days, Richmond World Festival is a free family fun event at Minoru Park

PNE:  The Fair at the PNE continues to bring agriculture and entertainment including the line up of great Summer Nights Concerts this week including The B52s, Doobie Brothers, Rick Springfield & The Gypsy Kings

Film: There’s still time to catch a movie before the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival comes to a close on September 3rd

Rock: Hopefully all is calm outside as Guns N’ Roses take the stage and prepare to blow the roof off BC Place on September 1st

Bowl: rock under the stars as Spoon plays the beautiful Malkin Bowl in the heart of Stanley Park on Saturday night

Heart:  Closing out the long weekend and PNE concerts, the I Heart Radio Beach Ball is two full days, Sunday and Monday, full of fantastic pop at the PNE Amphitheatre featuring Alessia Cara, Shawn Hook, The Strumbellas, Lorde, Liam Payne, Train, Blondie, Serena Ryder and many more

Pop: A pair of hitmakers grace the stage at Rogers Arena, rescheduled from the spring, Lionel Richie with Mariah Carey visit on Sunday.

Photo credit: David and Emily Cooper

Shakespeare:  Bard on the Beach continues to bring Shakespeare to life at Vanier Park, with Much Ado About Nothing and The Winter’s Tale are on the BMO Mainstage with The Merchant of Venice and Two Gentlemen of Verona on the Howard Family Stage

Introducing Adult-Only Playland Nights for 2017

Have you ever visited Playland and felt the dilemma of having to choose between sitting in the beer garden or enjoying fairgrounds? This July you no longer have to choose, with the introduction of Playland Nights : Adult-Only Friday Nights.

Now your only choice is what pairs best with craft beer – Beaver Tails or mini-donuts? Will you have red or white wine with your corn dog? Throughout July, Playland Nights – the first ever adult-only Friday nights run from 7 pm to midnight.  

Kicking off Friday, July 7, then every Friday for the month, Playland will host evenings dedicated to adults-only, complete with craft beer, wine, Playland themed cocktails like a candy floss martini, and fresh squeezed hard lemonade, food, midway games and of course, the exhilarating rides.

The whole Playland grounds will be licensed so 19+ guests can enjoy their favourite beverage anywhere onsite instead of being confined behind the walls of a beer garden. Mike McDaniel, President and CEO of the Pacific National Exhibition says, “we are thrilled to offer this new addition to our Playland schedule for the first time this year. We strive to continue to offer our guests new and exciting ways to enjoy Playland and we are sure these 19+ nights will be a huge success.”

Guest DJ’s, axe throwing, special activations and more will accompany the already exciting features Playland offers.  Advance tickets are $26 ($29 at the gate) and include unlimited access to 25+ rides and attractions around the Park.

Tickets for Playland Nights are on sale now online at:

5 Fun Frights for Halloween in Vancouver

Halloween is just around the corner; leaves are falling, pumpkins are being carved, candy is being selected for trick or treaters.
Get a chill when you take on these frightening (but family friendly) Halloween in Vancouver.

  1. Fright Nights at Playland: Until October 31st, the annual fright fest at Playland is loaded with haunted houses and thrilling rides, but not for the younger members of the family. 
  2. Halloween at Fly Over Canada: Enroll in Broomelda’s Witch Academy at Fly Over Canada until October 31st.
  3. Haunted Halloween Vancouver Trolley Tour: Seek out the haunted spots all around the city; Shaughnessy mansions, Mountain View Cemetary,  Vancouver Police Museum morgue are just some of the ghost tales you’ll hear on the nightly Trolley Tours.
  4. Stanley Park Ghost Train: Experience the thrills and chills of the Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead, plus the Spooky Barn is a haunted indoor space away from the weather.
  5. Haunted Village at Burnaby Village Museum: On October 27 – 30,  witches, ghosts and all manner of storybook characters will come to life over the wicked weekend. Watch what might be around the corner. 

2016 Fright Nights Haunt Playland Oct 7 – 31



Scare up some spooktacular entertainment starting this Friday!

Radiant Heat Fire Troupe

Fright Nights takes over Playland starting Friday October 7th.
Serve up some chilled with 7 haunted houses; Asylum, Darkness, Fear, Car-N-Evil, Haunted Mansion, Hollywood Horrors and Keepers Doll Factory. Live thrills are provided by the returning Monsters of Schlock comedy-stunt show,  Radiant Heat Fire Troupe and 90 monsters roaming the grounds including a quintet of frightening Freaks.  Adrenaline junkies can get their thrills on 15 hair-raising rides including; The Beast, Wooden Roller Coaster, Music Express, Hellevator, Atmosfear, Pirate Ship, Hell’s Gate and more.

Halloween lovers can save $3 by purchasing passes online at or from 7-Eleven stores. All the scares you need are included with the price of admission, starting at just $22 online. Get your thrills faster by purchasing a Rapid Pass, and join the expedited lines for the rides plus haunted houses.  Due to high demand, tickets are limited for each day so purchase early to avoid disappointment.

Fright Nights at Playland will keep you running scared from October 7 – October 31st, 2016.

Be prepared for the scares at Fright Nights by following Playland on Twitter or Instagram at @PNE_Playland or on Facebook