The Beatles, the Stones and many happy families: PNE employee has seen it all in 54 years
'It’s families and you can see their happy faces'
In his 54 years working at the PNE, Vern Frick has seen it all.
From countless families having a great time to dozens of football games at Empire Stadium, and even two very chaotic rock concerts — the Beatles and the Rolling Stones — it's been a roller coaster of a career for Frick since he started working at the fair in 1963.
In an interview with On The Coast guest host Michelle Eliot, he talked about why he loves the job.
"The employees I work with there, it's like a family," he said. "And my supervisors and managers are just such good people. I really enjoy working there.
"I get a chance to talk to people. It's families and you can see their happy faces and that … really makes me excited."
The PNE is opening Saturday for its 107th year, and Frick has been in the middle of the action for just over half of those years.
'It was kind of a scary night'
Frick started off as an usher at Empire Stadium, where the BC Lions used to play, but for the past several years he has worked at Pacific Coliseum for the Super Dogs shows dealing with tickets.
In 1964, he worked the infamous Beatles performance in Vancouver, a show that was cut down to 20 minutes after delays at the airport.
But he says that was nothing compared to when the Rolling Stones came in 1965.
"I actually was afraid. It was kind of a scary night," he said. "There was no problem with the people inside. It was a sold-out concert and young guys and gals were trying to break into the show. They started throwing boulders at the wooden doors.
"I guess the police called the riot squad in because they arrived a short time later and they were on horseback with shields and helmets on and they pushed them back to Renfrew Street … so it was a scary night."
The 2017 PNE opens Saturday and runs until Sept. 4.
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With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast