It’s been a Toronto tradition for over a century – featuring everything from concerts to midway rides to world-famous gastronomic delights.
More than 1.3 million people head down to the Lakeshore every year to take in the 18-day event, which is celebrating its 135th anniversary this summer.
The event, which is seen as the unofficial end to summer, runs from Aug. 16 to Sept. 2.
Ask most children and they’ll say one of the big reasons they run to the CNE every year is the midway. The rides-and-games zone draws thousands of people looking for speed, excitement and some of the best views of Toronto’s waterfront. Last year the Sky Ride, a chair-lift ride, was erected at the midway giving passengers a bird’s eye view of The Ex from 42 feet above the ground.
If the midway rides are too big for your little ones, spend the day at Kids World. The area located near the Dufferin Gates is complete with child-friendly rides, a playground, onstage entertainment and a park full of animals.
Of course, one of the biggest draws every year is the food.
Recently, abstract culinary creations have drawn long lineups as the gastronomically daring have indulged in such treats as a hotdog éclair, the Krispy Kreme hamburger, deep fried butter and a bacon sundae. Once again, this year the CNE will also host the Food Truck Frenzy at the CNE, featuring up to 20 trucks from across North America serving up a combination of tastes and culinary delights.
For the more discernable palate, foodies can get a close up look at the culinary skills of some of North America’s top chefs at the Food Network Celebrity Stage. In previous years, well-known chefs such as Michael Smith, David Rocco and Anna Olson have delighted fans with delectable treats and helpful tips.
There’s also a sea of culture to be experienced at The Ex.
The President’s Choice Financial International Stage at the Direct Energy Centre will feature more than 80 performances of music and dance from around the world.
And what better way to spend a beautiful summer night than sitting at the legendary Bandshell — which was built in 1936 and modeled after the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Over the years, acts from across Canada and around the world have taken to the stage including military and jazz bands, comedians, cartoon characters and internationally known musicians such as Joni Mitchell and The Guess Who. The best part: all concerts at the bandshell are free!
Want to show off your own talent? Sign up for the 27th annual CNE Rising Star Competition. This popular CNE event is open to any type of amateur performer including comedians, dancers, singers, and ventriloquists between the ages of 6 and 21.
For more information on how to take part in the competition click here.
Over the last three years the CNE has been awarded EcoLogo Certification, making it the “greenest” fair in North America and the most “environmentally friendly” large-scale event on the continent.
For full details on the 2013 CNE, including concert and event listings, ticket prices and the Interactive Fun Zone click here.