By Sekar Krisnauli
By Sekar Krisnauli
Rabat – Flashing lights, exciting rides and attraction, and deafening music captivated Aziz and his family to go to the Marina near the Kasbah Oudaya by the Bouregreg River late in the evening.
The spacious area known to hold the famous Mawazine Festival was turned into Wafa Even Parc, one of Rabat’s liveliest night scenes for people of all ages, just like 50 year-old Aziz, his two sisters, and his young nephews and nieces.
Aziz and his family came to the mini amusement park on a crowded Sunday night, as well as hundreds of people from the surrounding area, the neighboring city of Salé and tourists who flock their way to the Marina to get a unique feel of freedom, celebration, adrenaline rush, and youthfulness.
“The family decided to bring the kids here today,” Aziz said. “Here, the kids could just ‘let it out’, whereas in other places the kids can’t do that.”
After visiting an empty Hassan Tower, Aziz decided to let his nieces and nephews have fun on the trampoline that was specifically for children and the “ride that looks like an octopus,” an attraction that hoisted riders up and down on their seats as they revolved around the center of the ride.
Like Aziz and his nephews and nieces, 19-year-old Asmae visited Wafa Even Parc to “get out of [their] routine [fouwej in Darija] and to see people,” she said. Loud Western, Moroccan and Hindi music were blasted from the speakers that surrounded each attraction simultaneous to the clamor of the visitors and created a lively atmosphere.
Visitors stood around the area of the rides as they wait for their chance to get on them. They would cheer for their friends or relatives on the ride, try to get a hold of them by shouting at them, or took photos of them experiencing the ride. Visitors also savored popcorn, snail soup, grilled corn, and sugar cane juice, among others, as street vendors sold snacks around the perimeter of the mini amusement park.
With MAD 20 or less for each attraction, visitors could ride on a small merry-go-round, challenge each other in a game of bumper cars, jump on a bouncing castle, get on a brief-looping roller coaster, or enjoy a game of mini golf, among others.
“We came to the park because it has good rides…and they are safe,” Asmae said and complemented the park based on her past experiences for having to come to the park “many times.”
According to Mohamed, 20, one of the employees in the park, Wafa Even Parc first opened 12 years ago and has given the public “a space to have fun” since then. The annual festivity began in the month of June until October and operated through the month of Ramadhan. Mohamed had worked in the park for the past three years, he explained, and said the park got crowded as the night got later.
“The most popular attractions are the bumping cars and the ‘roller coasters’,” Mohamed added, and explained that more people would compete to get on those rides nearing the park’s closing hour around midnight.
Though the crowd made for an entertaining night, the congestion raised the need for further attention to safety. As a lot of people compete against each other to get on the rides, rules and safety regulations could be overlooked. Aziz said he would advise parents to be more careful when allowing their kids to play on the rides.
“Don’t take their kids to play in more dangerous rides because they might get afraid or anxious,” he said. “If that happens, bring them to enjoy the atmosphere and music.”
Moncef, 19, shared Aziz’s sentiment. He said “people can get a bit too aggressive” and hoped for “harassments and theft” to be less prevalent for a better experience at the park.
Wafa Even Parc provided an experience different to others found in the city of Rabat. The large space and many attractions made way for men, women, children, and people from all backgrounds to get together and rejoice in an escape from the city, in a city.
© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.