The midway will open early on the afternoon of Aug. 30, for the first time in the 151 years of the Saanich Fair.
Gate entry will be free for the Friday sneak peak and wristbands for the West Coast Amusements rides will be sold for $32 each.
“From 1 p.m. until 10 p.m. the rides only will be open to the public because at that time all of the exhibitors will be bringing in their exhibits,” said fair president Clara Knight.
The fair will also run on its regular long weekend days, on Aug. 31, Sept. 1 and Sept. 2. The gates at 1528 Stellys Cross Road will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and the midway will be open from 10 a.m. to close. Those days the midway will have concessions and food trucks, and “ride all day” wristbands will be available for $40.
Tarah Hauser of West Coast Amusements said the new Frenzy ride will make its debut on the midway this year. Hauser said it’s a swinging pendulum “with G-force taking you up, up and away.”
“We have had fantastic reviews and lineups into closing hours at all our events with the Frenzy,” she said.
But Knight said the fair feature people have been calling “left, right and centre” about is the Sunday entertainment headliner April Wine.
Starting at 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 1, the Canadian rock band, formed in 1969, will play from its more than 20 albums.
“People have been asking about tickets,” Knight said. “I tell them, ‘Come to the fair!’”
The entertainment lineup, including the headliners, is included in the gate admission price. Tickets for the gate are $13 for adults and $8 for seniors and youth, and can be purchased at the fair or online at saanichfair.tickit.ca. The fair is free for kids 6 years old and under.
The Saturday headliner will be the Juno award-winning band Prism, known for its Spaceship Superstar song, which NASA chose as the official song aboard Space Shuttle Discovery, during its historic final flight. Prism will start a bit earlier than April Wine, at 8 p.m.
Knight said both the main stage and second stage will also feature local artists throughout the weekend.