Esquimalt has celebrated Buccaneer Days since 1966. This photo from the 2012 edition of the event, shows six-year-old Reuben Rowan, 6 joined by Bill Emery, left, Sandy Rozon and Bob McKie. (Black Press file photo)

Esquimalt Buccaneer Days a ‘long-standing’ tradition

Buccaneer Days run from May 10 to 12

Buccaneer Days are back again in Esquimalt as the annual celebration continues its tradition of bringing families and the community together.

The time-honoured pirate party has been going on in Esquimalt for over 60 years.

Bob McKie, the long-time organizer of the event, said before the swashbuckling festival came into existence, the township celebrated May Day.

“They used to have a maypole and a May Queen,” McKie said.

The Buccaneer Days website said the City of Victoria discontinued its annual May Day celebrations in 1939 so Esquimalt began holding its own where they crowned a May Queen.

READ ALSO: Capital Comets Dog Sports to show off their skills at Esquimalt Buccaneer Days

The May Day celebrations eventually evolved into Esquimalt Days and in 1966 became Buccaneer Days.

McKie said his father in-law was chair of Buccaneer Days for about 20 years. McKie moved to Esquimalt in 1967 and got involved with the event in 1971. He said he did so because he loves to help and volunteer.

“I love to watch the smiles on kids’ faces when they get on rides or win something,” McKie said. “We walk around the Midway and give kids of families who may not be able to afford it a free wristband to ride all day for nothing.”

Students at local schools can also enter a colouring contest and have the opportunity to win some wristbands to the Midway carnival.

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins called Buccaneer Days a “long-standing tradition.”

“It is just so much fun to be able to think outside yourself, get in costume and join in on the fun on Buccaneer Days,” Desjardins said. “Everything from the morning Wakey Wakey all the way through the events, it’s really been a coming together of the community.”

McKie agreed, saying the Buccaneer Days have always been a great way for people to get together and connect.

About 800 people show up to the Saturday night community dance and some even go there to get together with people that they talked to 20 years ago, McKie said.

READ ALSO: Esquimalt hooks the region with the return of Buccaneer Days

“Esquimalt is a very small community and we make it so that it’s fun for everybody whether you’re two years old or 100 years old,” McKie said. “There’s something for everybody to do.”

Desjardins said Buccaneer Days is also a great way for community groups that serve in Esquimalt to raise funds.

“It’s everything from Girl Guides to the high school to the anglers,” Desjardins said. “This is their opportunity for a fundraiser and they bring it on with food and plant sales and all sorts of things that help them give back to the community.”

This year’s Esquimalt Buccaneer Days are loaded with fun events from all ages including skydivers, a dog agility show, a kids play zone, a dance and the parade.

The celebrations begin on May 10 and last until May 12. A full schedule of events can be found online and esquimaltbuccaneersday.ca.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

100 art pieces donated for fundraiser supporting refugee family new to Victoria

Saanich fundraiser will see every participant go home with a new piece of art

Saanich Fire celebrates 100th anniversary with party

Simulations, prizes, cake and more at No. 1 hall

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

GoodLife marathon helps enrich lives, share stories

Seniors’ care one of many causes supported by GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Central Saanich strawberry farmer reports bumper crop

Strawberry season could last well into October

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Tragic bus crash, Pacific FC win and Terry Fox runs

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Scheer makes quick campaign stop in Comox

Conservative leader highlights tax promises early in campaign

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Most Read