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VIEX set to liven up Nanaimo’s fairgrounds

Vancouver Island Exhibition happens Friday to Sunday, Aug. 25-27
The Vancouver Island Exhibition returns this coming weekend, Aug. 25-27, to the Beban Park fairgrounds. (News Bulletin file photo)

Everybody loves a fair

Horsing around will be encouraged as community members congregate in Beban Park for Nanaimo’s summer fair this weekend.

The Vancouver Island Exhibition takes place Friday to Sunday, Aug. 25-27, at Beban’s fairgrounds.

The VIEX will be a celebration of agriculture, but also a summer fair filled with diversions such as a midway with rides and games, food trucks, a full slate of musical performers and other entertainment and family activities.

Horse owners can take part in the Obstacle Trail Challenge Playday on Saturday, Aug. 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“It’s set up for horses, so anyone with a horse can enter. It’s our first time doing it, so it will be interesting … it’s basically some fun games for the horses, there are some obstacles to go through,” said Michelle Solloway, VIEX spokesperson.

Registration is required, as are helmets for riders aged 18 years and younger.

Another sure-fire crowd-pleaser will be motocross action presented by GlobalFMX.

“They do crazy jumps and flips and all kinds of tricks way up in the air and it’s a lot of fun,” said Solloway. “They’re a big draw, and they’re good at hyping everyone up so they put on a good show.”

RELATED: Country star George Canyon to headline Nanaimo’s VIEX

Live music is always a big VIEX draw and headlining Saturday is Juno Award-winning country music star George Canyon who hits the main stage at 9:30 p.m. with B.C.-born Chris Andres opening at 8 p.m., and Solloway said there will be tribute bands of some notable groups.

“On Friday night there’s a tribute to the Tragically Hip and a tribute to Heart,” said Solloway. “There’s an AC/DC group, they’re TNT – the Bon Scott Revue, because they do Bon Scott-era tributes. Then we have an Eagles tribute on Saturday. There’s an Alice in Chains tribute and then a Stone Temple Pilots [tribute].”

In July, the VIEX announced that the barns on the fairgrounds were condemned, but Solloway said organizers have made adjustments to accommodate livestock.

“Our poultry, rabbits and [guinea pigs] will be in the Centennial Building … then we have goats and sheep and a petting farm and horses down on the grounds outside,” she said.

The fair could stand to have a few more volunteers, but regardless, organizers are ready.

“The board has worked really hard and it’s been a bit of a different year for us with the barns closing, but we’ve rallied together and I think it’s going to be really great,” Solloway said.

Admission is $12 for adults, $9 for youths and seniors and $5 for children 12 and under. Children six and under get in for for free.

For more information, visit

RELATED: Beban Park barns condemned, but VIEX still a go

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Karl Yu

About the Author: Karl Yu

After interning at Vancouver Metro free daily newspaper, I joined Black Press in 2010.
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