Fairground attractions in abundance at PNE 0
The rise and fall of Genghis Khan’s nomadic empire — which trained its soldiers on one of the first organized uses of firearms — will be one of the key attractions at Pacific National Exhibition fair starting Saturday.
Running through Sept. 2, the annual fair is hosting the exhibition about the legendary Mongol warrior for the first time in Canada. Curator and sword-maker Francis Boyd said Thursday there are more than 250 pieces on display, 150 of them belonging to the 60-year-old and his wife who have been collecting the artifacts for decades.
The collection includes “hand cannons,” simple iron tubes stuffed with gunpowder, a fuse and shot to be fired in a volley over short distances.
Swords, including one belonging to ancient royalty, will also be on display. One piece bears the words “presented by Polo,” suggesting it possibly once belonged to the famous Venetian merchant known for his world travels.
Visitors can also see a whole section dedicated to jade, some dating back as far as 8,000 years before the formation of national borders in Asia.
Supervising show runner Ty Philips said many westerners have “no idea” of the stones’ context in Asian history. Some jade pieces are potentially worth millions.
“Jade carvers, hundreds and hundreds of years ago — we don’t even know who they are — are the equivalent of Picasso as far as understanding the medium itself,” he said.
On the culinary front, sliders of the kangaroo, camel, crocodile, wild boar and venison variety will be served by Brian Jones’ new Gourmet Burgers stand that debuted at last weekend’s Squamish Valley Music Festival.
Jones is promising “dozens and dozens” of ingredients used as toppings in his six main burger attractions — all made with a half-pound of Angus beef — ranging from $8 to $14, while exotic sliders are $12 for a mix-and-match of three.
Returning this year is Canfor’s Playhouse Challenge, which pitches six teams against each other to create the best children’s playhouse. The playhouses will be donated to various children’s services in B.C. at the fair’s conclusion.
The playhouses attracted more than 800,000 visits last year.
Rocker Melissa Etheridge kicks off the PNE concert series Saturday, with The Jacksons performing Sunday.