Pumpkins on the Pier this weekend

Fundraiser for Toys for Tots campaign happens Saturday

The new Pumpkins on the Pier event is this Saturday in Beacon Park in Sidney.

A combined effort between Steve Duck of TIDES Group and Canoe Cove Restaurant owner Rob McMillan, Pumpkins on the Pier is a seasonal celebration that kick starts the annual Toys for Tots campaign, run by McMillan.

For a donation of a toy made at the Mary Winspear Centre, families were able to get a voucher (while available) for a free pumpkin from Michell’s Farms in Central Saanich.

Duck said children and their families are encouraged to carve their pumpkins, get dressed up in their Halloween costumes and bring them to Beacon Park at 4 p.m. on Oct. 26. Pumpkins will be placed on a flat bed truck, where they will be judged by local sponsors and organizers, with prizes awarded in various age categories.

From 4 to 7 p.m. that evening, the park will be filling with Jack O’Lanterns while young musicians from Parkland Secondary School perform at the bandshell. There will be pumpkin pie eating and apple-biting events. Duck said that between 4:40 and 5:30 p.m., youth and their families will be led along Beacon Avenue for some trick or treating at the sponsor businesses. Once the judging is complete, he said, there will be a Parade of Pumpkins from Beacon to the Bevan Pier, where they will be placed on hay bales (using LED lights, not candles) and left on display until Nov. 1.

To learn more about Pumpkins on the Pier, visit www.TIDESgroup.com or call 250-999-2997.

Toys for Tots is focused on helping people in need — or even those on the cusp — have a good holiday. McMillan said Toys for Tots is always looking for more volunteers come December.