By Jesse Laufer
Esquimalt’s Buccaneer Days are setting sail earlier than normal this year.
This year’s events will run from Thursday, May 12 to Sunday, May 15.
Robert McKie, chair of the Buccaneer Days celebration, said the change comes because of Bingo Hauser’s passing.
Hauser owned West Coast Amusement (WCA), the midway that Buccaneer Days uses. After his passing, WCA dismantled his company unit, leaving WCA with only three midway units and a tighter booking schedule.
“For the last 12 or 13 years, (Hauser) used to come over just for us,” McKie said. “West Coast asked us to change, so we did.”
Until May 12, early bird midway wristbands can be purchased for $30. Wristbands grant one full day of rides instead of purchasing individual ride tickets.
Friday will have a live band playing from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m., with more live music on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Saturday evening will also include a dance at the Esquimalt Curling Club, though the dance is 19 plus and ticketed separately.
While many performers are volunteers, not everyone providing entertainment this year is a volunteer. Because some non-profits and community groups have had problems staffing for an entire long weekend, McKie said they’ve gone to some outside businesses to get more entertainment. That means for the first time, Buccaneer Days will have a 75-foot by 125-foot paintball course set up a few hours a day.
Food takes centre stage again this year. McKie said there will be 10 vendors selling foods ranging from Bannock, Greek, Mexican, and hot dogs.
McKie expects this year’s event will continue the Buccaneer Days tradition of success.
“It’s Esquimalt’s celebration,” he said. “It brings everyone together to have fun and act like pirates.”