The Ucluelet Parks and Recreation Department has been working hard to put together an action-packed weekend that everyone can enjoy.
Come smell the popcorn, experience the fun, hear the laughter of locals, feel the excitement of competitions and make some summer memories at Ucluelet’s most anticipated festival.
UKEE DAYS 2019 kicks off on Friday at 5:30 p.m. on the Ucluelet Village Green (200 Main St.) with the West Coast Community BBQ. Enjoy local live music, experience a taste of the West Coast with local restaurants providing good eats and our unique competitions featuring the Gumboot Toss and, new this year, the Wheelbarrow Wobble race.
“The Wheelbarrow Wobble is just something to keep the folks entertained while they’re having dinner. It’s going to be a race that you have a partner with. You’re going to race your wheelbarrow along through some pilings and they trade spaces and come back. The fastest time wins a cash prize,” said event organizer Barbara Gudbranson, adding that Friday’s wheelbarrow race is for ages 16 and up.
Wake up early to enjoy the Pancake Breakfast on Saturday at the Ucluelet Community Center, a fundraiser for the Ucluelet & Area Child Care Society. The epic Parade starts at 10:15 a.m. from the UAC Hall and leads the way down Peninsula Road to the UKEE DAYS Fairgrounds (160 Seaplane Base Rd.). Revelers can look forward to kids’ entertainment and competitions, logger sports demonstration, adult contests, and a Music Fest lineup featuring local musicians DJ Jessica Rabbit and Kurt Clayton and headliners Wise Young Blood and Illvis Freshly.
“UKEE DAYS began as a small community get together and now it’s bringing in our tourism people as well and they are participating in some of our interesting competitions. They think we are very funny people sometimes,” said Gudbranson with a chuckle. New to the Kids Zone area this year is Bounce A Rama’s Obstacle Course, Jousting on Saturday and the Foam Pit is back on Sunday. “So remember to bring your towel,” reminds Gudbranson.
Sunday morning’s competitions start off with Kids Logger Sports and the Co-op’s Price is Close, followed by the must-see event Nail, Sail, Bail.
“We are limiting [Nail, Sail, Bail] to 10 applicants this year. The first 10 applications that we received and that are completely filled in and liability forms are signed, will be entries,” Gudbranson said.
Abby Fortune, Ucluelet’s manager of Parks and Recreation, said $10,000 was pulled from the District’s Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) funding program coffers this year to help with operational costs.
“We got more tents and tables. We put in electrical power. Barb was also able to bring in the West Coast Logger Jack Show. Some of those funds helped do that,” said Fortune.
She went on to say that the 44th UKEE DAYS has garnered an exceptional amount of sponsorship.
“It’s been one of the better years. We’ve received really good support from the community,” said Fortune.
Gudbranson and Fortune offered a warm ‘Thank You’ to all the UKEE DAYS volunteers.
“Without you we wouldn’t be able to put this on,” they chimed.
In effort to reduce plastic waste at the Fairgrounds, Ucluelet Parks and Recreation has partnered with Surfrider Pacific Rim Foundation this year. They encourage event goers to ‘Bring Your Own’ (BYO) cutlery and water bottle.
UKEE DAYS organizers, from left, Barbara Gudbranson, Judy Bloedorn, Abby Fortune, and Megan Fortune.