"The Victorians" From Port Townsend Refused Entry To B.C.'s Butchart Gardens For Being Themselves

Comments

1
Well how about that, their lives are now a tiny fraction of a smidge of a bit closer to being just as unfair as those of the Victorian classes they don't dress up like.
2
I'm not sure, is this a first world problem or a white people problem?
3
Since the website for the Gardens not only prohibits costumes, but also "period style or historic dress," I don't think the Chrismans have a knickerbockered leg to stand on.
4
Only someone who would find satisfaction in living Victorian would be disappointed that they were denied admission to Butchart Gardens.
5
who the fuck caaaaaaares
6
Shorter: Attention whores seek attention.

@2, yes.
7
It is so unfair that the Gardens did not ignore their own rules for these special snowflakes.

Don't they realize that they wear these costumes everywhere, and that they are super, duper hipster-special?

I would suggest that maybe they should sue, but impotently whining about it online is much more fitting and passive-aggressive.
8
@2 a majority of white people want to dress in annoying clothes from a century ago?
9
@2 If a Muslim woman were denied admission to the gardens because she wore a headscarf, would you also be a dick about it?
10
@8

I guess it's steampunk without the punk.
11
@9: I am not exactly an expert on the Muslim faith or its common practices, but my understanding is that Muslim women wear the hijab as a show of modesty, not to get attention and try desperately to be unique.

So maybe it is not too apt a comparison.
12
A lot of people writing a story about this might have chosen to explain the nature of Butchart Gardens and why they might have a rule against visitors dressing in costume.

I tried following the links to their site — both of which are dead. I figured that was probably as a result of changes they made after being contacted by The Stranger for this piece. But then I went back and read through it one more time and realized the writer makes no mention of trying to contact Butchart Gardens to get their side of it. That's irresponsible and unprofessional.

On their home page though, there's a prominent link to this:

The Butchart Gardens' Response to Inquiries Regarding the Chrismans

August 16, 2016

For the enjoyment and safety of all visitors, and to preserve our tranquil atmosphere, The Butchart Gardens joins many international attractions, (Disney Parks; SeaWorld Parks/Busch Gardens; Museum of Fine Arts Houston; --to name a few), in not permitting costumes or masks to be worn onsite. This includes persons wearing period style, historical dress, or adult clothing that could be viewed as a costume as they could be mistaken for entertainers or interpreters hired by The Gardens and could detract from the experience of other visitors. This policy has been in place for many years and is prominent on our website.

The Butchart Gardens stands on its record for the courtesy and professionalism of its staff. The Chrismans were afforded this courtesy from the moment they arrived at The Gardens to the moment they left. As a compromise, Mrs. Chrisman was politely asked to remove only her hat, and had she not refused, the Chrismans would have been welcomed into The Gardens.

Upon this refusal we immediately refunded all their costs including bus fare to The Gardens, admission fee, meal costs, and they were provided a paid taxi back to Victoria.

We are most thankful for all the support we are receiving.
13
Not sure what happened to my post @12, but let's try again:

A lot of people writing a story about this might have chosen to explain the nature of Butchart Gardens and why they might have a rule against visitors dressing in costume.

I tried following the links to their site — both of which are dead. I figured that was probably as a result of changes they made after being contacted by The Stranger for this piece. But then I went back and read through it one more time and realized the writer makes no mention of trying to contact Butchart Gardens to get their side of it. That's irresponsible and unprofessional.

On their home page though, there's a prominent link to this:

The Butchart Gardens' Response to Inquiries Regarding the Chrismans

August 16, 2016

For the enjoyment and safety of all visitors, and to preserve our tranquil atmosphere, The Butchart Gardens joins many international attractions, (Disney Parks; SeaWorld Parks/Busch Gardens; Museum of Fine Arts Houston; --to name a few), in not permitting costumes or masks to be worn onsite. This includes persons wearing period style, historical dress, or adult clothing that could be viewed as a costume as they could be mistaken for entertainers or interpreters hired by The Gardens and could detract from the experience of other visitors. This policy has been in place for many years and is prominent on our website.

The Butchart Gardens stands on its record for the courtesy and professionalism of its staff. The Chrismans were afforded this courtesy from the moment they arrived at The Gardens to the moment they left. As a compromise, Mrs. Chrisman was politely asked to remove only her hat, and had she not refused, the Chrismans would have been welcomed into The Gardens.

Upon this refusal we immediately refunded all their costs including bus fare to The Gardens, admission fee, meal costs, and they were provided a paid taxi back to Victoria.

We are most thankful for all the support we are receiving.
14
Investigative journalism tip: Waybackmachine.

It appears the gardens added the language about costumes and period clothing after Aug 11. Actually, it appears they added it today. Here's a snapshot of what the webpage looked like as of the last Waybackmachine snapshot on April 12.

http://www.butchartgardens.com/visit/services-accessibility/">http://web.archive.org/web/2016041217214…
15
Just technical difficulties, apparently. That's reassuring. FWIW, though, @12 did actually appear and then disappear.
16
My link was broken. http://www.butchartgardens.com/visit/ser…">Try it now.
18
NEEEERRRRRDDDSSSS!!!
19
@14 I noted this as well. It wasn't on their website previous to the news stories starting. In a downloadable "Garden Etiquette" form (produced before this) costumes are mentioned, but nothing about "Period Dress". I wonder how the gardens would respond to members of any number of Anabaptist sects....
20
Eccentric people are better than the rest of us because they are eccentric.

Here's my favorite quote from The Man Who Spoke Snakish by Andrus Kivirähk, an allegorical novel about struggling against modernity.

"[He] did not get a foothold in his primeval world; he didn't understand its language: that is why he was killed and boiled and had his skull made into a drinking bowl."
21
I bet the "no costumes" rule is there to keep the LARPers out.
22
So the links in the stranger article are broken because they put an html tag into the link, if you delete that off the end you can get to the links. Hopefully they'll fix that soon.
23
One is not denied entry "from" a place. They are denied entry "to" a place.
24
@fredcasely, i wrote this at 11 pm last night, so no, I didn't contact the gardens. however, I will update with a post about their notice, thanks for bringing that to my attention.
25
Usually ugly American stories involve idiotic college students or rednecks. This one is a nice twist. Thanks Chistmans!
26
Victorian coslifers...
27
Whether they are dressed like Victorians or Pennywise the Clown, it doesn't matter if they wear it 24/7 or not. Because it is atypical dress, it's a costume. Anyway, Buchart Gardens is in their rights to set standards of dress and conduct as long as they don't violate any Canadian anti-discrimination laws. Their crib, their rules.

The Chrismans come off as just another couple of precious, entitled American hipsters who think rules are for everyone but them, because THEY ARE SOOOOOOOOOO SPECIAL. Looking at BG's letter, it sounds like they bent over backwards for them. I wouldn't have been so charitable. Rather than garnering any sympathy, the Chrismans end up looking like the self-absorbed fools they are.
28
These two are beyond sickening. http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/to-hell…
29
Don't a lot of people dress in some period costume? Today I saw a dude today wearing jeans with designs on the back pockets—it's like he time traveled to our time all the way from 2006!
30
@24: So you wrote this late in the day. That doesn’t absolve you of the responsibility to, in the words of the SPJ’s Code of Ethics, “Diligently seek subjects of news coverage to allow them to respond to criticism or allegations of wrongdoing.”

Was it more important to get the post up before midnight than it was to treat one of the subjects fairly? You could have, at the very least, emailed them for comment and noted that fact in your story, adding a promise to do an update upon getting a response from them.

Your haste in doing that contrasts starkly with this: Five hours after posting the ungrammatical, oddly capitalized comment* in which you said you would update the piece, it still hasn’t been done.

*Everyone else at The Stranger manages to use the same professional voice and attention to detail when writing in the comments as they do in their stories. @24 reads like a quickly-dashed-off text to your BFF.
31
Couldn't do journalism because it was just so urgent to get this important story posted immediately about an event of five days before?
32
I'm going to bet they don't have children
34
@32- I'm going to pray they don't have children.
35
As Adam Prosk said "fuck these people".
36
@21 And, who could blame them for doing so?... Guess I'll call off the Leathermen's Day we were planning for the Gardens. We just wanted to put the "Butch" back in Butchart.