Oak Bay tea party celebrates 50 years with fun and fireworks

Parade, fireworks, epic battle between mayors all part of the action

Former Oak Bay mayor Christopher Causton and present Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen have a cup of tea and size each other up as they prepare for the big teacup race against each other Sunday at Willows Beach.

Amusement rides, afternoon kayaking, fireworks, and a face-off between current Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen and former mayor Christopher Causton in the annual floating teacup race.

These are just some of the activities happening at Willows Beach this weekend in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Oak Bay Tea Party.

While a majority of the weekend’s activities remain the same, members of the public will notice a few additions to this year’s schedule.

For the first time, the Naden Band will be performing at the Tea Party. As well, fireworks, which have not been part of the annual event since 2003, are back, courtesy of the Oak Bay Beach Hotel.

“We’ve had a good formula over the last number of years for the Tea Party, so we’re reluctant to make too many changes,” said Bill Murphy-Dyson, chair of the Oak Bay Tea Party Society. “Why fix a good thing?”

Murphy-Dyson, who first got involved organizing the Tea Party in 1989 and has been the society’s chair since 1994, guarantees that everyone will have a good time.

After months of planning, Murphy-Dyson and fellow society members, say seeing everybody having a good time is their favourite part.

“(I look forward) to just see it all come together and everybody having a good time and the service clubs making money for their charities.”

Another addition to this year’s festivities is a kayak rescue demonstration by the Oak Bay Sea Rescue Society on Saturday, as well as a “yoga on paddle board” demonstration presented by Pacifica Paddle Sports.

Also, as part of Jensen’s first Tea Party as mayor, he will be going against Causton in his first floating teacup challenge. Causton has 15 races on Jensen.

“I certainly am up to the challenge,” Jensen said. “I’m just contemplating how to stay afloat.

“(My) strategy is to watch him to begin with and then try to emulate what he’s done and then just do it faster and better,” he said with a laugh.

Murphy-Dyson warns the teacup can be “very easily tipped.” However, no one has sunk their teacup since David Hahn, former CEO of B.C. Ferries, sank his about five years ago.

The goal of the teacup race is not to tip the cup and to make sure the cup goes in the right direction, he said.

Sink or swim, Jensen seems excited for the festivities.

“It’s going to be a great weekend, as we celebrate the anniversary of a fantastic 50 years,” Jensen said. “Every year new things have happened and they’ve grown, so this is going to be a special celebration.”

Tea Party Highlights

Saturday, June 2:

Tea Party kick-off with the Oak Bay High concert band, 12 p.m., followed by opening ceremonies, 12:30 p.m.

Oak Bay Sea Rescue Society kayak rescue demonstration, 1:30 p.m.

Yoga on the water demonstration by Pacifica Paddle Sports, 1:45 p.m.

Kayak rides by donation, from 12 to 4 p.m.

Fireworks at 10 p.m.

Sunday, June 3:

Bathtub races, 1 p.m.

Skydivers and air show, 2 p.m.

Floating teacup challenge, 4 p.m.

Naden Band performs, 4:30 p.m.

Midway at Willows Park opens from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Click here for more information.

Just Posted

‘More animals could have a chance:’ Victoria Humane Society in desperate need of a home

Animal rescue currently has 163 animals in foster and volunteer homes

Free-B Film Festival celebrates 20th anniversary

Head to Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park to see some family favourites on the big screen

Central Saanich accused of not following Climate Emergency declaration with urgent action

Motion to research climate response options and costs rejected then rescheduled in tense meeting

Join North Saanich invasives removal and experience three key benefits

Friends of North Saanich Parks says July 27 clear-up will be rewarding as well as green

Esquimalt gives six-storey rental complex the green light

A new apartment building is set to go up on Admirals Road

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read