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

Buccaneer DaysEsquimalt

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Duncan’s Big Stick lights up red to signal COVID’s devastation of the arts

“COVID-19 has been truly devastating to the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre”

Pandemic reunites 2000s era Victoria rock band The Origin

Saanich musicians recording for first time since 2008

From Nanoose Bay to the bookshelf, Howard the Gnome now a children’s book

Vancouver Island author explores Howard’s move down-Island

Nanaimo country singer releases new music video

‘Adrenaline’ is the second single from Joel Lee’s upcoming debut EP

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Film about missing and murdered indigenous women makes Nanaimo debut

A mother and daughter search for answers in Sonia Bonspille Boileau’s ‘Rustic Oracle’

Nanaimo’s Harbour City Photography Club goes virtual to adapt to COVID-19

Club’s exhibitions, meetings and presentations are now occurring online

Nanaimo’s Western Edge Theatre returns to the stage in Port Theatre debut

Theatre group presents ‘2 Across,’ described as a ‘middle-aged romantic comedy’

Authors nominated for Victoria Book Prize awards

Finalists for 2020 announced in two categories

Three Nanaimo-area writers up for CBC non-fiction prize

Sheila Brooke, Vicki McLeod and Rachael Preston make 35-person longlist

Resident Alien returns to Ladysmith for filming in early October

New SyFy series back after spring filming interrupted by COVID-19

Most Read