What started out as a fun thing to do for their kids at Halloween has turned into a major attraction in Langley, as residents Derek and Tammy Condon get ready to lower the gangplank on a huge pirate ship outside their Willoughby home.
Located at 8393 209A St., the ‘Pirates for Canuck Place’ is bigger and badder than ever and ready to show off its bounty starting this week.
Get an inside peek of Tortuga Post, step aboard the deck of the Flying Dutchman pirate ship, check into their prisoners’ cell and meet Kia the parrot.
This year, the Condons have added a prison and guillotine for plenty of great photo opportunities. On top of all the sights, sounds and pirate actors to see, they promise some surprises, too.
“Derek is the mastermind behind it all, but every year it just gets bigger,” said wife, Tammy. The pirate ship takes up the whole front lawn and now the driveway is full of everything pirates.
“We started this for our kids, but now they are 17 and 19. Our kids, Alex and Erika, are a big part of helping us. So are our best friends, Randy and Donna Chin.”
“We love our neighbourhood, so this is a just a way to show community,” she said.
People come from as far as Chilliwack and Vancouver. Last year, 5,000 people visited the pirate ship, checking out the skeleton crew, the captain of the Flying Dutchman and ghosts that haunt this huge vessel.
This kind of fun display brings out the whole community, said Tammy.
But, people kept asking what charity they were helping so last year the family decided to help Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.
“Last year, we met eight families in our community whose lives have been made a little more bearable with heartfelt thanks to Canuck Place,” she said. Last year’s pirate ship display raised $6,652.
“This year we want to raise even more,” she said.
Almost the entire pirate ship is made from salvaged materials or donated items, said Tammy.
“Derek builds the ship, board by board, each year and has to take it down the same way. His mom is nice enough to store all of it at her house,” she said.
Because the pirate ship draws crowds and parking in the area is at a premium, the Condons ask visitors to respect their neighbours and park at nearby Lynn Fripps Elementary or at Yorkson Middle School.
The pirate ship is open for viewing weekday evenings from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and all day and into the evenings on weekends.
Photos by Miranda Gathercole. See more on the Langley Times Facebook page.
OTHER GHOSTLY AND GHOULISH ATTRACTIONS
The Haunted Graveyard at 4683 204 Street — open Oct. 24 to 31, daily from noon to 9 p.m. Bring a non-perishable food donation for the Langley Food Bank.
HD Stafford’s Haunted House built in the basement of the old part of the school, runs from Oct. 26 to 29 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. This year the display has a medieval theme, with many students in character. It is open to all ages, but recommend for 10 and up. Proceeds go to the Grade 8 girls basketball program and a school in Rwanda. Admission is $3 students $5 Adults. H.D. Stafford is located at 20441 Grade Cres.
If you’re brave enough, check out the Haunted Swamp House, full of twisted and grotesque deadness — and zombies. The swamp house has been a main attraction in Delta for a few years, but the creators recently moved to Langley. All the money they collect through donations goes to The Ronald McDonald House. Haunted swamp house for charity runs Oct. 28-30, 6:30-10 p.m. Halloween Night, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 4120 228 St.
Trick-or-treat at Fort Langley National Historic Site and enjoy two great Halloween-style Bobs and Lolo concerts (11 a.m. and 2 p.m.) Oct. 31 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Make a craft, visit the Spooky Servants quarters and get a pumpkin-shaped airbrush tattoo. Geared toward young families – wear your costumes for great photos. (free for valid annual pass holders. Age 2 and under – free; age 3-16 – $6.30; age 17+ – $11.70) Advance tickets on sale at www.brownpapertickets.com.
Fort Langley Historic Site’s Ghost Tours are always popular and usually sell out. This year the walks are being held Oct. 23 to 30. The tour takes visitors through the Fort Langley Cemetery to see century-old graves, and then over to some of the town’s oldest buildings, and into the 1850s fort itself. The adult-only walks (ages 17 and up) are Oct. 15-18 and 21-30 at 7 p.m., 8 p.m. or 9 p.m.
R.E. Mountain students in the REC Leadership program are hosting a community Halloween event on Friday, Oct. 30, from 4 p.m.to 8 p.m. for families in Langley. This event will be held at the school and includes door-to-door trick-or-treating, a haunted hallway, and arts and crafts with a family movie.
Entrance is by donation with proceeds going to Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. The recommended age is anyone under 13.