Growing up in Oak Bay, I’ve had the pleasure of attending the Oak Bay Tea Party festivities for over 40 years.
There are many traditions in this event and it is a pleasure for me that this community has a penchant for holding onto many of them.
However, there comes a time when some decisions need to be rethought and we part ways with a tradition.
For me, the exclusion of the rides and midway activities in the tea party weekend is a decision that I’d like to see given serious consideration for next year. The exorbitant pricing of the rides and lack of any “game” to the midway overshadowed what is otherwise a milestone event on the community calendar.
I don’t believe that the cost for my family to participate in the rides equates to any sort of positive return. It’s a blow to the wallet at the ticket booth, but gets worse when you find the experience of most rides is alarmingly short in terms of time and without any “magic” due to the demeanor of the carnival staff.
As well, the excitement of a game was completely devoid at the midway – a customer (eg. parent) essentially purchases a token stuffy once our child completes the activity and then is guided towards purchasing the upgraded stuffy, after which the child completes the activity again. Total time to spend that $10 is well under a minute.
Yes, there were a lot of screams of delight at Willow’s park that weekend. Many families were enjoying the experience. But, as a value for money proposition, this commercial enterprise is not one that I’d like to see supported by our community. It’s time to reinvent how the Oak Bay Tea Party utilizes the space next year.