Visiting PNE at least once has been our annual family ritual. Now that the kids are gone, PNE presents quite a different experience to us boomers who can roam the PNE ground more relaxingly, at a much leisurely pace.
The late afternoon sun is still working hard when we arrive. Thanks to global warming, the usual raindrops have gone somewhere else, making the stroll a bright and pleasant one. Like many dog-lovers, the Super Dogs Show is a must-see for us. Even if the super Dogs alone would justify the $20 pp ticket, we still want to go find other fun and worthy things to do! So what are the choices?
1/ Say hello to the farm animals! Farms and ranches are fun lands for all ages. The animals, big and tiny, never stop to amaze city slickers. They are literally magnets to the young ones!
2/ The pig race is on while we tumble into the packed and muggy barn. The emcee does a great job engaging the audience by selecting sectional cheer-leaders and cracking up clean jokes. After 20 minutes of mumble-jumble, the geese are out doing a bit of a prelude – they are lively and lovely. The pigs, 8 of them, are dynamite too, probably because they are just walking through the aisle. Race? What race? Oh, it takes all but 10 seconds!
3/Best street entertainment – The Drumbeats: A group of very enthusiastic and talented high school lads awe the audience with enticing beats, pumping rhythms and authentically created music and moves.
4/ Super Dogs Show – For those who have not yet witnessed the wonder of these super dogs, what are you waiting for? Tricks are just part of the show!
5/ Peking Acrobats – Though you kind of know what to expect, the amazement of seeing what humans can do to their bodies right in front of your two eyes never thins out.
What about the food?
Let’s make one thing very clear, we all know the food at PNE is categorized as ‘Junk Food’. Yet there are good and bad junk food, or shall I add, personally ‘like’ and seriously dislike junk food?
Mini donuts – Got to have them, this is totally PNE!
Roaming Dragon – Decently prepared and priced, that’s why the line-up at meal time.
BBQ chicken – Tender, juicy and full of flavour! Go for the half chicken ($9.75), it is the most reasonably priced sizzling hot item at PNE.
Drinks – Best to bring your own bottle of water rather than paying four bucks for one or indulge into the grossly expensive pops. OK, if you must, pay $5 for a large Buckeye Root Beer. Get two straws and share.
While 95% of the deep-fried food here can do serious damage to the bellied bodies, bulging moms-to-be, wide-eyed teenagers and growing kids stalking the food stands; seems like everyone is OK to jam themselves with all these greasy mayhems, with extra salt, ketchup and mayo! Guess that’s also the notion of PNE – play hard, eat hard for two weeks every year! Since I cannot stand the thought of biting into the deep-fried candy bars and chips, I can only comment on these ‘Dislikes’:
Blossom onion – For $8.50, you get a deep-fried, salty and greasy battered onion that looks like a peony but tastes like yesterday’s leftover fries.
Ribs – Although they are drenched in a container of oily jus, the ribs still look bored and dried.
Corns – May be they bring most of the bottom racks here and sell them at $3.50 per ear. Or may be I am simply out of luck – they sell young and burst-in-your-month corns too.
Chinese food – Pardon the MSG, or what they say they use ‘chicken powder’ these days!