cne 2016

The top 10 things to do at the 2016 CNE in Toronto

The 2016 edition of the CNE starts today and runs through September 5 in Toronto. Get ready to fill your days at the fair with memorable moments and lots and lots of food. But The Ex is more than just the outrageous eats. From the midway to the various shows, concerts and pavilions, there's so much room for activities at the Canadian National Exhibition.

Here are my picks for the top things to do at the 2016 CNE.

Try some Franken-food
With a bounty of carb-laden, artery-clogging dishes, the Food Building and midway will let your wildest culinary dreams come true (even if you might regret them later). This year's offerings include a churro burger, pulled pork cinnamon rolls and a steaklair.

Get inspired at the Innovation Garage
New for this year is the CNE's Innovation Garage, which will feature an Innovation Playground with a slew of new products and services. The most exciting part of this newfangled program that runs from August 19 to 21 is the Emerging Innovators Pitch Competition where inventors will vie for $25,000 in prize money.

Watch the Tragically Hip
On August 20, the Tragically Hip will end their Man Machine Poem tour with one final concert in Kingston, Ontario. Luckily, the CNE will be streaming the entire show at the Bandshell Stage - it's free to attend with the price of admission.

cne 2016

Drink up at the Craft Beer Fest
From August 26 to 28, 12 brewers (including Pommies Cider Co.) will be at the Ex sampling their wares. Expect to taste beer from Muskoka Brewing Inc., Great Lakes Brewery, Wellington Brewery and Central City Brewers & Distillers .

Embrace your inner Trekkie
This year, the CNE is hosting a special art exhibition to celebrate the series' 50th anniversary. Along with look at the various pieces of artwork, you can also attend Star Trek trivia nights and a Star Trek-themed bar.

The CNE casino opened on July 31, but you still have plenty of time to place your bets. You can stay here all night because it's open from noon until 6 a.m. daily.

See a Canadian hero at the ice show
The ice show happens twice a day, every day for the entire CNE run. And if that's not enough to get to glide inside the Ricoh Coliseum, the promise of seeing Elvis Stojko should. This Canadian icon will appear in the show from August 23 to 25. Canadian champion Joannie Rochette will be there the rest of the time.

Learn from a celebrity chef
Get up close and personal with your favourite Food Network stars. There will be a different celebrity chef on site each day, so mark your calendars because Michael Smith, Lynn Crawford and Anna Olson will all be there.

cne 2016

Visit the Food Truck Frenzy
Food truck frenzy looks like it's going to be bigger than ever this year. There will be 26 trucks participating, including Bake Three Fifty, Eva's Original Chimney's and feasTO.

Shop 'til you drop
The flea market at the CNE is a wacky and wonderful bazaar filled with a slew of things you don't actually need. I remember my parents dragging me here and I would wander through the various stalls, begging them to buy me cool new products, like the knock-off versions of the slap chop and ShamWow!

For hours of operation and more info check the CNE web site.

Photo by Kaeko via the blogTO Flickr pool.

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