Cowichan Lake Days was first held on Labour Day in 1943, 54 years ago. It began as a picnic for the area’s children. Members of the Lake Cowichan IWA local organized the event and canvassed residents to help pay for food and prizes. The event was held in the field where the Smith Block is now located.
In 1944 a decorated bike competition was added and over the next few years logger sports were introduced. The first parade was held in 1945 and the first Lady of the Lake, Dolores Traer, was selected. The winner was not really selected, but was the contestant who sold the most tickets to the event. She was given the title of ‘Lumber Queen’.
Lake Days soon outgrew the field and was moved to the old school grounds (Lisa’s Fit Stop) to make use of the old Community Hall. In 1958 there appeared in the Lake News an ad asking for 50 men to complete the Centennial Park in time for that year’s Centennial celebration. They obviously found their volunteers and the work was completed. The event has been held at the park ever since.
In 1959 the Kiwanis Club received a franchise to participate in the PNE contest. In 1979 the first Lady of the Lake Ball was held at the Riverside Inn. The Lake Days Society was formed in 1987, the same year that the Boom Chain Toss was introduced. The 1st annual 10K run and the ultramarathon were first held in 1989.
Lake Days has seen many changes over the years. It has certainly seen every kind of weather known to man, from gale force winds to brilliant sunshine and more than its share of rain.
|1979||Carla St. Cyr|
|2019||Program in Hiatus|