There are pirates everywhere – big ones, small ones, short ones and tall ones. There is a massive bouncy slide for the kids, a bullhead fishing derby. There is live entertainment, a great variety of food, a craft tent for youngsters. There is a treasure hunt, pirate duelling, coast guard demonstrations, harbour tours and a purple martin display.
In a nutshell, Ladysmith’s Kids Pirates Day offers some of the best free family fun to be found on Vancouver Island. There is so much going on it’s mind-boggling, but pleasantly so.
The energy level at the festival is the first thing that strikes those who arrive at the Ladysmith Maritime Society’s community marina site on Ladysmith’s pretty sheltered waterfront. There are kids everywhere, many dressed as pirates. Adults get into the spirit too, adding to the maritime ambiance, the silliness, and the fun.
The water’s edge location sprawls outward along floats that house the maritime society’s excellent maritime museum and its collection of beautifully-restored heritage boats. There is colour and activity everywhere, enhanced by bright banners, tents housing various activities and displays and thousands of delighted patrons, young and old, enjoying a great day in the outdoors.
Ever-mindful of the safety of its young patrons, the maritime society also mans a ‘Kids Don’t Float’ station, where young attendees are fitted with flotation devices as they head out along the wharves towards the water-based events and attractions.
This annual event is some of the most fun we have had in a long time – full of action and interest but laid-back at the same time. A wander through the dozens of appealing displays and the nautical feel to the occasion leaves us in a happy, relaxed frame of mind. We have the opportunity to learn about the efforts of the maritime society on behalf of the western purple martin recovery program, and we always spend some time in the unique floating museum that documents much of Ladysmith’s history. It is one wonderful afternoon, leaving us with happy memories and yet another reminder of what a vibrant place Ladysmith is, with so much to offer residents and visitors alike.
One of the recent additions that we are aiming to take in this year is the Pirate’s Feast, the first of many bi-weekly Dine on the Dock events at the harbour slated for the summer months. For $20 a head you get a meal prepared by one of the guest chefs from town – it could be anything from salmon to ribs or hamburgers. This year the Pirate’s Feast is scheduled for the Friday night, June 2, with Kids Pirate Day slated for Saturday, June 3.
For current information and updates on plans for this year keep an eye on the Ladysmith Maritime Society website and click the Kids Pirate Day link at:
To get to the marina follow the signs for Transfer Beach Park and keep your eyes peeled for directions to the festival site, which will be to the left (north) of the park area.
GPS Co-ordinates for the community marina site are:
Lat. 48.99552295361928 Long. -123.81512403488159
N 48 59.731 W 123 48.907