Roses Are Red But Festivals Are Blue

I went to the Rose Festival's Waterfront Village carnival last night, and I left feeling pretty weird about the experience.

Roses Are Red,
But Festivals Are Blue.
Who wasn't there yesterday?
I'm betting it was YOU.

First of all, there was nobody there. Part of what makes a festival festive is the way it brings everyone into town for a party. I guess everyone had better things to do on a Tuesday evening. Granted, the weather had been looking iffy at best throughout the day yesterday, but by evening the ominous sky had turned a lovely turquoise blue. The carnival would have looked marvelous, had anyone been there to see it.

Second: the prices. $5 admission seems fair, but $3.50 just to ride ONE ride? Come on now. And don't even get me started on the new ticket-scheme. They list ride prices in tickets, but they don't actually sell tickets. Instead, they sell swipe-cards. For $20, you get a rechargeable card with 40 tickets on it. That sounds great until you realize a single ride costs 7 tickets. I can't even imagine how a typical family can afford a day at the festival, and good luck keeping track of tickets since there's no way to know what's left on your card if you lose track. A friend and I easily blew through $29 for three rides and a small cotton candy - and that was with a coupon I had for a free admission. My god, for a family with two adults and three kids... some rides, some food... wow.

Third: what are they thinking? This is the Rose Festival's 100th anniversary! So, what's the theme this year? Is it all about a century of the Portland Rose Festival? Maybe a look back on the Portland of 1907? Nope. The theme this year is Pirates. "PIRATES?" ...you heard me. Pirates.

Fourth: I'm getting old. When you go to a carnival and bitch about the theme, it's a sign. When you don't enjoy cotton candy because "It's nothing but sugar!" ...it's a sign. Worst of all, when you ride only three rides (3!) and leave with your stomach loopy... it's a sign. A sign that you too are getting old.


Ahh well.

This rant isn't to suggest I didn't have fun. I certainly did. I just think it's a shame that the Rose Festival is more concerned with a current movie than a hundred years of Portland history, and I worry that it's getting too expensive for families anyway.

Also - to my stomach: kiss my ass!

::::: | Wednesday, Jun 06 2007 at 12:38 PM
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Sharkbait said:

Oh, that was a funny post.

Did you go to the festival alone?

::::: | June 6, 2007 3:34 PM

Me! said:

Nope. I went with a friend. We both had a great time, it just felt weird being at such a huge place with so few people in it. Not only were there no lines for the rides... there rides had almost nobody on them.

I bet there were fewer people enjoying the carnival than there were working the carnival last night.

It just felt weird!

::::: | June 6, 2007 3:39 PM

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