I used to go to “The Ex” every summer with my dad and my little brother, until I had a bad fall in the “fun house” and cut my knee. Since my “injury” I’ve been too scared to go back … until this year. When I went to ”The EX” with my friend Claire on Labour Day weekend, I was thrilled to find that it hasn’t changed a bit over the years. The dreaded fun house is still going strong! The rides are exactly the same and certainly just as cheesy and sketchy as I remember them; the prizes for games are still Carebears, Smurfs and stuffed Rastafari bananas! The food is greasy, artery-clogging and I’ll admit, delicious; think corn dogs and deep fried unions, candy apples and cotton candy! There is loud music playing from each game tent and the sound of screams and cheers never stop. I was even lucky enough to witness an ACDC cover band while I was there! Unfortunately, Claire and I missed the wonder dog show by just a few minutes. There were a lot of couples walking around holding hands and kids with ice cream covered faces pulling their tired parents from ride to ride. I felt like I was walking around a movie set. At night the CNE turns into a festival of lights - neon lights, coloured light bulbs, glow sticks, etc. It’s pure kitsch and pure eye candy. Although “the Ex” is weird and wonderful, crazy and colourful it’s always a little bit sad too, as it marks the end of each summer.
I recently discovered this gem of a commercial
for the CNE from 1986. It’s so dated and therefore so awesome.