Good Old Daze return to Mill Bay

An early zip line made by Higginson Consulting as part Mill Bay’s annual Good Old Daze event. - courtesy Maureen Alexander
An early zip line made by Higginson Consulting as part Mill Bay’s annual Good Old Daze event.
— image credit: courtesy Maureen Alexander

The saying, "Elvis has left the building," was originally used by announcers to get rabid Elvis fans who wanted to get a closer look at those famous blue suede shoes to go home, so that the maintenance staff could clean up.

Did anyone think to look for the King in Mill Bay?

Well, they should have.

The Mill Bay/Malahat Historical Society, the Bamberton Historical Society and Mill Bay's merchants and community groups have promised that Elvis, as well as other notables like Al Capone, Bill Gates and 70 more life-size, hand-crafted characters will be in Mill Bay from now until July 18.

And then they will surface again on Sundays at Bamberton from July 20 to August 17. It's all part of the annual Good Old Daze event.

Maureen Alexander, president of the Mill Bay/Malahat Historical Society said she got the idea a few years ago after a visit to Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia.

She said that until that small town started the Mahone Bay Scarecrow Festival, drivers never stopped on the way to Lunenburg. Sixteen years later, Mahone Bay is on the map in a way it wouldn't have been without the festival.

Alexander is hoping the same thing happens during the second annual Good Old Daze event in Mill Bay.

"The theme (for the figures) is anything that's influenced the people in Cowichan," she said. "Through this event, we're trying to put a spotlight on history; we don't seem to value things like we used to. This event is totally unique, the figures are just a hoot."

The 75 hand-made characters are of famous people, inventions or eras. While there were no limitations on the materials that can be used, pool noodles have been popular this year.

The public is encouraged to vote for their favourite figures which were made by local businesses, community group and individuals. The winning voters' prizes are a cash donation to their charity of choice.

Those thinking of visiting on Sundays at the Bamberton site can also take a free Bamberton Museum tour, view a documentary called, Bamberton Gone, But Not Forgotten and a 90 minute bus tour around the site.

"For a lot of people, history is boring," Alexander said. "The figures are a way of getting people interested in the subject. That's our reward for doing this."

If you're around the Mill Bay Centre at 5:30 p.m. on July 18 , enjoy the barbecue, live music and awards, which include most creative and most informative, among others.

Your ticket:

What: The Good Old Daze

When: Mill Bay Centre, July 7 to 18, during business hours and Sundays only in Bamberton, July 20 to August 17, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Mill Bay Centre, 2720 Mill Bay Road (one block off the Trans-Canada Highway), and Bamberton,  1451 Trowsse Road.

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