At Trail’s Silver City Days, you gotta pay to play

Silver City Days can take a hefty bite out of a family’s wallet

Every parent knows that taking the family for a day at the fair can leave you feeling like your wallet is considerably lighter than when you left the house in the morning.

But how much does it really cost?

Of course, the total can vary drastically depending on how hungry you are, how many rides you want to try and how big a prize you want to win.

A conservative estimate for a family of four for the day; $40 for lunch, $25 for games, $45 for rides, $20 for snacks and drinks and $40 for dinner for a total of $170.

According to the owner and general manager of West Coast Amusements, I.R. (Bingo) Hauser, the pricing for the rides at Silver City Days this year is the same as last year.

“We’re keeping everything the same this year but we’ll have to look at it next year,” said Hauser. “The biggest cost we have is for fuel to bring these things here and it goes up all the time.”

Hauser, who has been working in travelling shows in Canada since 1944, began as a lion tamer and moved west in 1947.

He says that, as much as they try to keep the prices reasonable, everything costs more now than it once did.

“Between the fuel for the trucks, insurance for the show, permits… everything goes up,” Hauser said. “I’m not sure how much longer these travelling shows will be able to keep going.”

A leisurely stroll through the Silver City Days food mall and West Coast Amusements midway might give you an idea of how much you may need to withdraw from the bank machine before you take in the show this year.

Basing an estimate on a family of four, two adults and two children, provides a starting point.

The typical Saturday at the annual festival generally begins with the parade and carries on to lunch after the parade when the sidewalk cafe in the Cominco Arena opens at noon.

Prices at the Smoke Eaters’ sidewalk cafe will be the same this year, according to Smoke Eaters president Tom Gawryletz.

“We’ll have the usual spaghetti and meatballs with a roll, italian sausages, and pizza, beer and wine for the adults and pop,” Gawryletz said. “And we’ll have a condensed Spud Shack menu as well, with fries, onion rings and hotdogs for the kids.”

The sidewalk cafe, being a local organization fund-raiser, typically can provide food and drinks at a lower price than a private individual making a living.

A post-parade lunch for the family with two spaghetti dinners at $8 each, say pizza for two kids at $3 each, a plate of fries to share at $4, a beer or a glass of wine for the adults at $5 each and two pop for the kids at $1.

This is a pretty full meal and, of course, only an estimate but the total works out to $38.

An even more frugal approach might be to take in a basic corn dog for each of the kids, burgers for the adults, and pop on the food mall, which can be bought for as little as $20.

However, there appears to be a broader selection of options for food this year and with a variety of burgers and meat buns from $5 to $9, donairs and wraps from $8 to $10, and salads in the $9 to $10 range, it’s easy to imagine lunch for four as potentially costing considerably more.

From lunch the family continues on to the midway rides and games with the prices varying depending on the size of the prize one is aiming for and the rides preferred.

Playing one of the basic children’s games can give the opportunity for a kid to win a small stuffed creature for only $2, larger toys will cost at least $10 worth of gaming to win.

A rough estimate of what it would cost to win one of huge stuffed characters on display, provided by a midway worker who preferred to remain anonymous, was in the neighbourhood of $100. I imagine those to be the exclusive territory of younger men who are somewhat desperate to impress a particular young lady. Or vice-versa.

For the purposes of this estimate, a reasonably strict family limit for midway games could be around $25.

For the midway rides, $15 for a book of six, $22.50 for 16, and $45 for 40 Thursday and Friday.

All day wrist bands are available Saturday for $32 and Sunday with a donation of two non-perishable food items for $29.

Small children’s rides are four or five tickets, larger rides, more targeted towards teens or adults require six.

Depending on your income, level of indulgence with your children, and their ages, it may just be best to pay the $62 for wrist bands and let them go wild for the day but those with younger kids and with less disposable cash would probably consider a book of tickets as more reasonable.

If one of the parents will, at some point, have to accompany one or both of the children on a ride or two, the $45 book is probably the most realistic choice.

Snacks throughout the afternoon can range from cotton candy at $4 or $5, popcorn from $3 to $7 depending on the size of the bag, candy apples at $4, and drinks in the $1 or $2 range. Put a rough guess at $20.

After a long day of parades, entertainment, rides, and street food many would opt for taking the kids home for a quite dinner and to wind down before the Saturday evening fireworks but if your children are closer to their teens this may not happen so the family may choose to have more of a dinner at the food mall or return to the sidewalk cafe for more food, and music in that venue. If so count of another $20 to $40 for a dinner-like meal and drinks.

Of course this will change considerably with the age of the children and the level of tolerance the parents have for wandering around town for the day but this is certainly not out of the question and probably less than many will spend.

But above all, have a safe and enjoyable Silver City days.

Just Posted

Protestors blocking Columbia Avenue Saturday evening. Photo: Betsy Kline
Old growth protesters begin 24-hour blockade of Castlegar’s main street

Members of Extinction Rebellion plan to stay overnight

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

SD20 now has an electric bus. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay-Columbia School District 20 adds electric bus to fleet

Bus will be incorporated into Castlegar route for next school year

Painting by Dave Davies from Shaver’s Bench facing Teck Trail.
Happy 120th Birthday to the City of Trail!

The town of Trail Creek- or Trail Creek Landing - was incorporated as a city on June 14, 1901.

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read