Explore, Father's Day weekend: Car Free YYJ, fishing derby, celebrate the Philippines

Have a day out without the car at Car Free YYJ

Leave your chariot at home and reclaim the street with your feet at Car Free YYJ along nine city blocks of Douglas Street on Sunday.

Presented by the Downtown Victoria Business Association, the annual community celebration attracts up to 35,000 people, making it one of the most popular events of the year.

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Held every year on Father’s Day, the event transforms a major transportation artery to a pedestrian-friendly district for a day.

For seven hours, the roadway will reverberate not with the sound of internal-combustion engines, but with live music performed on three stages.

From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., the main stage will feature performances by Le La La Dancers, Trophy Dad, Paint the Town Red, the Soul Shakers, Elli Hart and the Dirty Mountain and Adrian Chalifour with Towers and Trese.

You can also dance the day away at a 280-square-metre silent disco, where people dance to music piped into wireless headphones.

More than 400 artists, businesses and organizations will be offering products, produce or information.

There will be an all-ages licensed food and beverage area spanning several blocks, and those 19 and older can quench their thirst at a beer garden.

In the spirit of the day, organizers are urging people to leave their cars at home and use alternative transportation.

Note that buses that normally travel along Douglas Street will be rerouted to Blanshard Street between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Anyone getting to the event by bicycle can leave their rides with a bike valet.

The event is free. It runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday on Douglas Street from Chatham Street to Courtney Street (roads closed 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.).

For more information, go to carfreeyyj.ca.

Enjoy food, music and dance of the Philippines

Join Victoria’s Filipino community at Mabuhay!, a celebration of Philippine culture at Centennial Square on Saturday.

This year, the event celebrates both Filipino Heritage Month and the 121th anniversary of Philippine independence.

This is the first time Filipino Heritage Month has been celebrated in Canada since its declaration in November last year.

Mabuhay is derived from the word “buhay,” which means life in Tagalog (the national language of the Philippines). It is also used to express welcome, congratulations, appreciation and good wishes.

The family-friendly event is a good place to learn about Filipino culture through song, dance and food. It features food kiosks serving a variety of Filipino-style dishes, both savoury and sweet, in single and combination offerings (gluten-free options available).

Choose from the traditional chicken adobo (pieces of chicken marinated with spices, such as vinegar, soy sauce and lots of garlic), barbecue pork, lumpia (spring rolls), ginataang gulay (a vegetarian dish with squash, green beans and okra simmered in coconut milk), pancit (noodles) and other dishes.

Entertainment will be provided by the award-winning Sampaguita Dance Group on stage, including singing and traditional folk dances. You can also catch a fashion show and play games.

The event is hosted by the Victoria Filipino Canadian Association and the Bayanihan Cultural and Housing Society. The non-profit organizations help new immigrants with housing and adjusting to life in Canada.

The event is free, and food and drinks are available for purchase. It runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday in Centennial Square. For information, go to bayanihan.ca.

Kids will love nature walks

Introduce your children to nature at age-appropriate outdoor programs this Father’s Day weekend at two CRD regional parks.

• Take the children, five and younger, to Sensory Snoop, a guided walk at the Francis / King Regional Park in Saanich on Saturday.

Bring your preschooler to explore the sights and sounds at the regional park. Their senses will be sure to be woken up on a wander through the forest.

They will see summer colours, hear birds calling and smell the scent of the forest, with a knowledgeable CRD Parks naturalist serving as their guide.

The program is free. It runs from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Francis/King Regional Park in Saanich. There is no fee for this program, but you must pre-register as space is limited. To register, go to crd.bc.ca/parks-events.

• Enjoy a walk in the park with your family at the Family Fun Walk, a guided event for children five and older at East Sooke Regional Park on Sunday.

West Coast wilderness awaits you at the park, with 50 kilometres of trails, from a windswept rocky coast with sheltered coves and tide pools to a dry hilltop with a spectacular views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Olympic Mountains.

Join a 90-minute guided walk with a CRD Parks naturalist to discover the beauty of wooded parkland.

It is recommended that you bring a snack, water and wear sturdy and supportive footwear.

The walk is free to join. It runs from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at East Sooke Regional Park, East Sooke. Meet at the information kiosk at the Aylard Farm parking lot off Becher Bay Road.

For both programs, it is advisable to arrive 10 minutes before the start. Leave pets at home. For more information, go to crd.bc.ca/parks.

Catch a prize at fishing derby

Take Dad fishing at the Walter Hall Community Fishing Derby and Awards Barbecue, Saturday at the Malahat District branch of the Royal Canadian Legion in Shawnigan Lake.

A regular event on Father’s Day weekend, the family-friendly fishing derby is held in conjunction with Go Fish B.C.

You and your family can get free licences for freshwater fishing for this weekend (you will still need a licence for ocean fishing).

Fish in the ocean or lake and make sure you’re back at the legion before 2 p.m. to have your fish weighed in.

There will be cash awards for biggest fish in the various categories, with prizes and fishing rods for all youth.

Stick around for a barbecue after, hosted by the Mill Bay Lions Club. Adults can order steak on a bun and salad. Children can dig in to a hot dog, bag of chips and a choice of pop or juice.

Entry to the derby is $25 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under.

The event runs from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Malahat District branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, 1625 Shawnigan-Mill Bay Rd. in Shawnigan Lake.

For more information, go to malahatlegion.com.

Scottish Gaelic choir holds ceilidh

Join the Victoria Scottish Gaelic Choir at its annual Spring Ceilidh, a gathering to celebrate Scottish song, Saturday at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Kirk Hall.

Listen to the a capella choir singing in Scottish Gaelic or kick up your heels and join in a dance.

At this fundraiser, dedicated to celebrating, sharing and preserving Gaelic language, music and culture, you can take part in a silent auction or simply eat, drink and be merry.

Tickets are $15 at the door, or you can reserve your ticket at whitney.t.hanna@gmail.com.

The ceilidh starts at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Kirk Hall, 680 Courtney St. For more information, go to victoriagaelicchoir.com.

Brentwood Bay rotary hosts lobster dinner in Sidney

Bring your appetite to the seventh annual Lobsterfest, Saturday at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney.

The community fundraiser is hosted by the Rotary Club of Brentwood Bay.

Enjoy a fresh lobster dinner with live music and a cash bar. The evening will be hosted by radio personalities Forbes and Marshall, and will feature live and silent auctions.

This year, the Rotary Club’s share of the silent-auction proceeds will be donated to the Saanichton Village Association for its Bike ’n’ Ride project on Mount Newton Cross Road. The project’s bike shelters, bike lockers and community benches will cater to people who want to shop without their cars and cyclists who want to stop for a rest.

Tickets to Lobsterfest are $100 (partial tax receipt issued). The event runs from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday at the Mary Winspear Centre, 2243 Beacon Ave., Sidney.

Tickets can be purchased by emailing your name and phone number to donna@hearcentralsaanich.com or brentwoodbayrotaryfoundation.

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