Pirate ships take to land for the annual Buccaneer Days parade, the Saturday morning tradition that helps kick off a weekend of activities in Esquimalt, this year from May 11 to 13. Facebook Pirate ships take to land for the annual Buccaneer Days parade, the Saturday morning tradition that helps kick off a weekend of activities in Esquimalt, this year from May 11 to 13. Facebook

Esquimalt hooks the region with the return of Buccaneer Days

Traditional festival includes parade, sky-divers and early bird wake-up call

Buccaneer Days returns to Esquimalt this weekend with the infamous wake-up call kicking off the festivities for this time-tested tradition, running May 11 to 13.

Bullen Park plays host to the activities including a pancake breakfast, live music, fighting demonstrations and the midway, while the parade will make its way down Esquimalt Road starting at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Buccaneer Days harkens back to 1966 when the Township put their own spin on May Day celebrations by turning it into a pirate party.

Now decades later, it’s an important gathering of the community, but also a fundraiser for various programs, says Sandy Rozon, secretary of the festival’s committee.

“Our money goes to help young people,” she says. “This year we donated to the Esquimalt Atom Smashers, who were competing in the [U.S.], and we donated to the fund for Esquimalt High’s new bus.”

Bob McKie, chair of the Buccaneer committee, has been helping throw the annual party for over 30 years and agrees it’s an important tradition for the naval community.

New this year is Blood and Iron, a group from the western martial arts school who will perform a sword fighting demonstration. And, the pie plate skydiving contest promises to be entertaining this year, with more parachuters and a bigger plane.

“They put on a good show,” McKie says. “It’s a challenge for them, but for us it’s fun to watch.”

As for the early morning run to signal the start of the festivities, affectionately called the “Wakey Wakey,” McKie says in years past he’s had kids request their name be called out as the caravan travels through their streets. Others aren’t so keen.

“I still get the odd phone call from people saying they’re going to sue the municipality,” he chuckles. “All I say is, welcome to Esquimalt.”

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Fearing is loving life in West Coast La La Land

Award-winning blues-folk guitarist singer/songwriter playing Sidney show on May 3

KATHY KAY: Online streaming service provides a winning drama

Mozart in the Jungle offers up delightful entertainment, reviewer writes

Making a career out of poking fun at life’s frustrating moments

Respected comic Derek Edwards brings homegrown Canadian act to Sidney on May 30

National Geographic Live takes a journey to red planet

Guest speaker Kobie Boykins from NASA offers insider’s view of Mars explorations May 8

UnoFest: Pushing boundaries and challenging audiences for 22 years

Annual solo theatre festival kicks off 11 days of inspiring artistry on May 1

Just looking, or buying? You can find that perfect art piece at Sidney show

Saanich Peninsula Arts and Crafts Society holding Spring Show April 27-28 at Mary Winspear Centre

Peninsula grandmothers salute Roaring ’20s fashion

May 3 event in Sidney benefits Grandmothers Helping African Grandmothers

Belmont secondary’s student-run bistro experiences opening-day rush

Culinary students serving up affordable lunches to fellow classmates

Sooke Community Choir offers up #modernlove

Sooke concerts run from May 3 to 5

Stephen Fearing brings unique style to concert series

Fearing will play Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Sooke on April 27

Most Read