Explore: TC Book Sale, Buccaneer Days, Mother's Day paint-in

Times Colonist Book Sale is this weekend

The 22nd annual Times Colonist Book Sale is almost here.

The annual literacy fundraiser runs Saturday, May 11, and Sunday, May 12, with hundreds of thousands of books on sale at the Victoria Curling Club at 1952 Quadra St.

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The sale, which goes from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, will mark the culmination of a massive effort in which hundreds of volunteers spent almost two weeks sorting the books after they were donated by generous Times Colonist readers at a drive-through drop-off.

Here’s what you need to know:

• The prices are a big part of the attraction: hardcovers $3; softcovers $2; pocket books and children’s books $1.

• Payment is by cash, debit, MasterCard, Visa or American Express, but no cheques.

Bring a little bit of money and a little bit of patience. The sale often starts off with a lineup around the block. Some shoppers treat the queue (it often starts before midnight Friday) as part of the experience. Others prefer to sleep in and let the line disappear. With hundreds of thousands of volumes on offer, it’s not as though there’s a rush to get at the books.

Wear comfy shoes, as you’ll be on a concrete floor. Some people like to bring their own carrier bags, while others prefer to pick up a cardboard box (or two, or three …) at the curling club.

Remember that children’s books are upstairs (but leave your baby strollers downstairs, please).

If you get peckish, the Good Fellows café inside the curling club will be open.

Pay parking is available in the lot that serves the curling club and Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre. There is also free parking along Quadra, but be aware that parking on some of the nearby side streets is for residents only. You can also take the No. 6 bus, which goes along Quadra Street.

Once the sale is over, representatives of schools and non-profit groups may help themselves to the remaining books, for free, from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Monday.

The sale has raised more than $5 million since it started in 1998. As usual, all the money raised will go to education and literacy programs on Vancouver Island.

Buccaneer Days fun sails into Esquimalt

Avast, ye mateys, get your best swashbuckling pirate or navy attire on as Esquimalt celebrates its maritime heritage with Buccaneer Days, Friday to Sunday in Bullen Park.

The popular four-day festival attracts between 3,000 and 4,000 revellers to the many family-friendly events.

Thrill seekers can catch midway rides from 3 p.m. on Friday.

Early on Saturday, residents will get a friendly wakeup call from a van full of firefighters calling out “Wakey, Wakey” through a loudspeaker as they drive through neighbourhood streets between 7 and 9:30 a.m.

Eat your fill at the Lions Pancake Breakfast from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m.

The parade runs from 10 to 11:30 a.m. along Esquimalt Road, between Dominion and Admirals roads.

Free events during the day include local musicians on the stage in Bullen Park, and a sword-fighting demonstration on the field.

A community dance takes place in the Curling Rink with Rocksteady and Kooler. The dance runs from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., with live bands starting at 9 p.m.

Join in prayer at a joint community church service — held on the stage in Bullen Park — between 9 and 11 a.m. Sunday.

Take home some coffee, tea or goodies from the Buccaneer Market Place, held in the arena.

Demonstrations offered during the day include model train and dog agility.

The winner of the ever-popular pie plate/skydiving contest will be determined when the parachutist touches down at 3:30 p.m. Events take place 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

People are asked to leave pets at home.

Admission is free. The midway will run from 3 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Bullen Field, 1151 Esquimalt Rd. For information, go to esquimaltbuccaneerdays.ca.

Parade, clan ceremony herald Highland Games

Take in two free events staged to promote the upcoming Victoria Highland Games and Celtic Festival, usually held over the approaching May long weekend.

• Thrill to the sound of massed bagpipes and the sight of tartan swirling at Saturday’s Tartan Parade along Government Street.

Saturday’s parade consists of 150 pipers, drummers, dancers, heavy-event athletes and members of local Scottish organizations and associated groups.

They will start at Centennial Square, travel along Government Street and encamp on the legislature lawns.

There the pipe bands will play, the caber will be tossed and a massed Highland fling will be danced.

The parade is free to watch. It starts at 11 a.m. at Centennial Square and ends 12:15 p.m. on the lawn of the legislature.

• Return later the same day to take in the spectacle of the Clan Torchlight Ceremony, also held on the lawn of the legislature.

The ceremony starts with the Victoria Highland Games and Celtic Festival’s duty pipe band performing in front of the legislature steps.

Following the performance, clan representatives will announce their clan’s presence at the Games and receive a lit torch.

Each clan representative will take their torch onto the legislature lawns where, collectively, they will form a Scottish Saltire.

Once the clan representatives are finished, the duty pipe band will conclude the ceremony with a short performance.

Last year, 20 clans participated in the ceremony.

The ceremony is free to watch. It runs 8:30 to 9:15 p.m. Saturday on the lawn of the legislature. For information on both events, go to victoriahighlandgames.com.

Eat and greet at two village spring flings

Bring the whole family and meet your neighbours or eat the day away at two community events in Quadra Village and Oak Bay Village on Saturday.

• Bring your appetite for culinary discovery at the Spring Nosh in Oak Bay Village. This is an annual celebration of local food, with seasonal bites and an all-ages beverage garden.

Food choices include charcuterie, seafood, sausage barbecue, organic lemonade, bakery items, spot prawns, bite-sized desserts and more. Attendees can enjoy a range of organic lemonades and iced matcha lattes.

Others can enjoy meals or small bites in the beer garden.

Los Gringos Locos and Arf the Dog will perform through the event.

Free to attend. Sample bites are $2 to $3 each. Spring Nosh runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 2020 and 2024 Oak Bay Ave. It is recommended attendees bring cash for food and beverage tickets.

For more information, go to visitoakbayvillage.ca or Facebook.

• Meet your neighbours or welcome visitors in a gathering to celebrate the Hillside-Quadra community at Quadra Village Day.

There will be something for everyone, including pancakes, ice-cream, music, dance performances, interactive art, community booths, children’s activities, adult workshops, a dunk tank and more.

Musical entertainment includes Savard, Stevie Wise and the Feelings and Myles Skye.

There will be lots of fun activities for children, including carnival games, free children’s haircuts, Mother’s Day plant potting, crafts, interactive art, face painting and more.

You can also sign up for workshops for macramé, roller skating and plant knowledge.

Get your chance to soak local politicians as Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe and Coun. Ben Isitt wait for your throw in the dunk tank.

There will also be information tables set up by neighbourhood community groups.

The event is free. It runs 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday on Kings Road. The free pancake breakfast runs 9:30 to 11 a.m. Organizers encourage people to travel to Quadra Village Day by bus, bike, carpool and foot. Parking regulations will be in force on surrounding streets. For more information, go to quadravillagecc.com/quadra-village-day.

Rubber-duckie race in Sooke helps raise money for charities

Get all your yellow bath ducks in a row for Duck Day at the Flats, a charity duck race Saturday on the Sooke River.

The family day of fun is brought to you by the Sooke Harbourside Lions, who are responsible for launching 2,700 rubber ducks to raise funds for local charities.

The first five ducks than cross the finish line are winners, with the first duck netting $1,000 for the lucky ticket holder.

In addition to the duck race, people can spend the time at crafts, cupcake decorating, games, face painting or at the inflatable amusement.

There will be a concession at hand, with hot dogs.

You can join the festivities for free. Duck tickets are $5 or $20 for a pack of five. The event runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (the race begins at noon) Saturday at the Sooke River Campground, 2259 Phillips Rd., Sooke. Tickets can be purchased at the Sooke Family Resource Society Community Thrift Store, Pemberton Holmes, Sooke Laundromat and at the Sooke River Campground Office. Good idea to purchase your tickets early as they were sold out last year.

For more information, go to e-clubhouse.org/sites/sookeharboursidelions.

Celebrate mom at RRU paint-in

Treat your mother to a day surrounded by spring blossoms, art, family entertainment and crafts at the Royal Roads University Mother’s Day Paint-In and Craft Fair on Sunday.

This is the 24th year of the annual event, held on the grounds of Hatley Park and gardens.

You and mom can take a leisurely walk around the park’s heritage gardens or learn about the history of the castle with free entry to the Hatley Park museum.

Plein-air painters will showcase their art in the gardens.

Family entertainment includes live music by main-stage performers. There will be children’s fun activities and crafts.

Shop for a variety of items crafted by local artisans and vendors on site.

You are invited to bring a picnic or purchase food on site.

Admission is free, as is parking. The event runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, on the lawns of Hatley Castle, 2005 Sooke Rd. For information, go to royalroads.ca.

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