Rain on opening day mostly a myth, but keep your fingers crossed about this year’s forecast

When the PNE opens, the rainstorms pour — according to a myth that’s been circulating in the Lower Mainland since the 1970s.

But in fact the fair has been welcomed by rainless skies for most of the past decade.

“A number of years ago we had consecutive rain but recently, the weather’s been pretty good and dry,” said PNE spokesperson Laura Ballance, who has been working with the fair since the early ’90s.

Since 2002, it has rained during PNE opening day only twice, in 2004 and 2007.

Ballance hopes the lucky streak continues this year, despite Environment Canada’s prediction of showers on Saturday, when the PNE kicks off.

“Like we always say, we can always plan for everything, but weather is something that we can never predict,” she said.

PNE staff prepare for three to four days of rain — but rain or shine, Ballance said, the show must go on.

Fairgoers can expect several changes to the annual event, which runs to Sept. 2.

General admission and parking rates have been reduced by 20 per cent.

From $20, admission for visitors aged 14 and older, and parking prices, have gone down to $16. Kids 13 and under can come to the fair for free, while seniors can enter at a reduced rate of $8.

Instead of its traditional 17-day run, the fair will be closed during the first two Mondays, Aug. 19 and 26.

“We made several significant changes this year and I really hope that the weather co-operates so that people get to enjoy the PNE,” Ballance said.