Sat, August 18, 2012
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Canadian National Exhibition kicks off

2012-08-18 02:48:53 GMT2012-08-18 10:48:53(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

A boy joins a performance with a band during the 2012 Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto, Canada, Aug. 17, 2012. Founded in 1879, the Canadian National Exhibition is one of the largest fair in Canada. This year's event started on Aug. 17 and will last 18 days. (Xinhua/Zou Zheng)

Children enjoy the slide during the 2012 Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto, Canada, Aug. 17, 2012. Founded in 1879, the Canadian National Exhibition is one of the largest fair in Canada. This year's event started on Aug. 17 and will last 18 days. (Xinhua/Zou Zheng)

An artist balances rocks during the 2012 Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto, Canada, Aug. 17, 2012. Founded in 1879, the Canadian National Exhibition is one of the largest fair in Canada. This year's event started on Aug. 17 and will last 18 days. (Xinhua/Zou Zheng)

People visit a military display during the 2012 Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto, Canada, Aug. 17, 2012. Founded in 1879, the Canadian National Exhibition is one of the largest fair in Canada. This year's event started on Aug. 17 and will last 18 days. (Xinhua/Zou Zheng)

A band performs during the 2012 Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto, Canada, Aug. 17, 2012. Founded in 1879, the Canadian National Exhibition is one of the largest fair in Canada. This year's event started on Aug. 17 and will last 18 days. (Xinhua/Zou Zheng)

TORONTO, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), a long-standing Toronto tradition, kicked off its annual 18-day celebrations on Friday.

The opening ceremony featured a parade and had esteemed guests like Canadian London Olympic trampoline gold medalist Rosannagh MacLennan on hand to officially open the 134th edition of the CNE, the seventh largest fair in North America.

CNE General Manager David Bednar said the fair, which features an agricultural show, a military exhibit, concerts, sand sculptures and many other events, has a bit of something for everyone.

"You bring friends, you bring family, everybody goes their different ways," he said. "Some shop, some ride rides, some see exhibits or concerts, and at the end of the day you can get back together, have a bite to eat in the food building and talk about what fun you had at the CNE."X Located in its permanent home at the Exhibition Place, the 192-acre space in Toronto is the perfect size for the expected 1.3 million guests every year.

The event as it is today is a stark difference from the fair back in 1879. Initially a fair for scientists, agriculturalists and engineers to showcase their talent and innovations, it has evolved over the years to become a family-oriented event.

"We really have grown up with Canada. In 1879, it was an agrarian society. Now, we're almost in the post-industrial society, so we've had to change a bit over the years," said Bednar.

This year's CNE will run from Aug. 17 to Sept. 3.

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