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

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

Just Posted

Powerful Russian folk trio makes triumphant return to city

Trio Voronezh back on Victoria stage for first time since appearing at Coupe Mondiale in 2013

Abbamania, Night Fever in spotlight at McPherson in Victoria

ABBA, Bee Gees songs will fill the Mac Feb. 7, along with Lady Gaga tribute

Vic High alumni named Victoria’s new Youth Poet Laureate

Neko Smart, the founder and coach of the Vic High slam poetry team, will serve a one-year term

Dance Victoria: The Trocks are in town!

Dance Days 2020 performance roster includes two powerhouse presentations

Pacific Opera Victoria exec member earns major honour

Yvette Guigueno to attend prestigious OPERA America leadership program this month in New York

Winners announced for inaugural Victoria Arts Council/Monday poetry contest

More than 100 entries received in five categories

Canadian polar bears’ ‘ingenious’ survival seen in BBC Earth series

Film crews also go to Tofino to watch black bears snap up crabs under massive boulders

Spring author’s reading series kicks off early in Sidney

Sidney and Peninsula Literary Society hosting Yasuko Thanh and Carla Funk for Feb. 7 event

The winners of London Drugs’ 2019 Amateur Photographer of the Year contest are…

After more than 26,000 entries, the winners have been selected across Western Canada.

‘How to Train Your Dragon’ filmmaker Dean DeBlois among Canadian Oscar nominees

Multiple Oscar-nominated Canadian talents on Academy Award hopefuls list

Most Read