Pirate ships take to land for the Buccaneer Days parade, returning to Esquimalt May 10-12. (Black Press Media file photo)

Thirty years later, Buccaneer Days still ‘a blast’

Bob McKie has been involved with the Esquimalt festival since the 1960s

Bob McKie is gearing up for a long couple days this weekend but he can’t wait– after all, he’s been part of Buccaneer Days for over 30 years.

Esquimalt’s annual, family-friendly pirate-themed community celebration charmed McKie when he first came across it in 1967. He had just moved from Woodstock, Ont. while serving the Canadian Armed Forces.

“It’s an Esquimalt celebration, and as far as I’m concerned I’m part of Esquimalt,” he said. “I came out here in the army and never left.”

McKie began volunteering shortly after he arrived because his father-in-law chaired the event. For the past 13 years he’s chaired it himself.

READ MORE: Buccaneer Days has long, storied history

The days are long leading up to Buccaneer Days, with planning starting in January. When the event is on McKie is working from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. along with the other board members and volunteers, but he says it doesn’t feel like a long day at all.

“No, it’s a fun day,” he quipped.

Beginning at the crack of dawn McKie makes sure everything is coordinated for the Lions’ pancake breakfast, and that all the security personnel are fed before things get going.

Next thing, of course, is the “Wakey Wakey” announcement coming from the speakers of the Esquimalt Fire Hall.

“Every so often we get phone calls saying they’re upset, that we’re abusing the fire hall and disturbing the peace,” McKie said. “I say to them, ‘Welcome to Esquimalt, it’s only on this week.’”

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

After that there’s rides, performances, a parade (“I don’t have time to ride in it anymore,” he says) and of course an all-ages dance to attend.

With so much going on, one might think McKie would be hard-pressed to pick a favourite part, but he was quick to point one out.

“My favourite part is watching the kids with the smiles on their faces, just enjoying their time,” he said.

Everyone is welcome at Buccaneer Days, which will run in Esquimalt from May 10-12.

For more information you can visit esquimaltbuccaneerdays.ca.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Just Posted

City says traffic pattern on Bay Street Bridge will stay as is until October

Commuters began facing long waits on Tuesday morning after the east-bound lane was closed

Double lung transplant gives West Shore man second chance

Co-owner of West Shore Barber Shop grateful for every minute of the 16 years transplant has provided

Hallmark movie filming in Oak Bay

Shooting for ‘Sunshine’ continues into June across Greater Victoria

Home where Proctor murder took place removed from Langford’s Affordable Housing Program

Langford woman almost purchased home, decided against it after hearing history

PHOTOS: Victoria youth continue to gather for climate action

Local students participated in a global movement calling for climate action

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve investigating after sea lion found shot in the head

Animal is believed to have been killed somewhere between Ucluelet and Tofino

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

B.C. port workers set to strike on Monday in Vancouver

A strike at two container terminals would affect Canadian trade to Asia

Volunteers already rescuing fry from drying creekbeds around Cowichan Lake

It’s early but already salmon fry are being left high and dry

So, they found ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’

Dave Tryon, now 72 and living in North Delta, will reunite with long-ago travelling friends in Monterrey, Calif.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Most Read