Strong opening to Interior Provincial Exhibition

A North Okanagan tradition is drawing a crowd.

The 115th Interior Provincial Exhibition attracted 16,262 people on opening day Wednesday.

“Those are good strong numbers,” said Bryan Burns, adding that compares to 15,800 on the first day in 2013.

“It was a really good start to the fair.”

The plan is to now monitor attendance until the IPE wraps up Sunday, but even the rain Thursday wasn’t slowing people down.

“The shows were still going on and everything was just a little wet. It got the dust down,” said Burns.

In 2013, 149,782 people attended the annual celebration in Armstrong.

A challenge Wednesday was a bird flying into a power line and knocking out electricity to the fairgrounds for a couple of hours. The midway rides were not impacted because they rely on generators for power.

“Everyone was able to still get around and enjoy themselves,” said Burns.

A man was also slightly injured when he fell through part of a metal walkway to a ride that was not aligned properly.

Burns says he has been hearing positive comments about this year’s offering of the Armstrong fair, including the new location of Kids World.

“It has a chance to win Katy Perry tickets and that’s a huge draw,” he said.

Also proving popular is the Wrangler Tour Rodeo in the grandstand.

“The rodeo was fantastic,” said Burns, adding that there was an enthusiastic audience Wednesday night.

“It was a really great crowd. It was probably a third more busier than we usually get opening day.”

For more information, go to or check out the IPE’s Facebook page.


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