Oliver and I dropped Catherine up in Cavendish on Friday morning, and then stopped in at the old Rainbow Valley site on our way back to town. You will recall that after we spent several happy summers basking in Rainbow Valley’s wonders, the park closed for good last summer.
Parks Canada, the new owners of the property, have been hard at work erasing all trace of Rainbow Valley: with the exception of a few picnic tables, and a couple of remaining buildings, everything else is gone. The castle at the entrance. The swimming pool. The water slides. The talking owl. All the rides. The old fire truck. The vegetable garden, with it’s concrete mushrooms. Even the statue of Anne of Green Gables.
We took the opportunity to record a short memorial podcast from the car after a walk through. As we used my T610 mobile phone to do the recording, it sounds a lot like we recorded it under a pile of wool blankets.
I also took some photos of the destruction (the photos were taken on the same phone, with camera that takes photos that match the sound quality of the podcast).
It was a very odd feeling to walk the grounds: it was like walking through a colour photograph from which all the colour had been draining. It made me very conscious of the magical artifice that was Rainbow Valley: how a ragtag collection of people, structures and mythology could amount to so much fun.
We drove by the “replacement” theme park, up the road and across the street. Frankly, it looks depressing. Of course it’s under construction. And it’s still winter. And we had pathos in our hearts. So we’ll see what happens this summer. But Rainbow Valley is definitely, obviously, gone forever.