95th Annual May Days Festival Kicks Off May 4
The countdown to Port Coquitlam’s 95th annual May Day Festival has begun. From May 4 to 13, the City will be livened with free family activities, local culture, live entertainment and more.
Dating back to 1923, May Days is Port Coquitlam’s annual spring festival and one of its signature events.
Thousands of people from throughout Metro Vancouver head to downtown Port Coquitlam each year for the annual Rotary May Day Parade – one of the biggest in the region.
This year’s parade is May 12, with a pre-show at 10:30 a.m. by the Vancouver Police Department motorcycle drill squad, and the official parade start at 11 a.m. Early birds can also enjoy a pre-parade pancake breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. in the Outlet at Leigh Square, with the $4 cost supporting the 4th PoCo Scouts.
Party in the Square (formerly the Community Block Party) will follow the parade on May 12 from about noon to 5 p.m., and include:
- Live entertainment in the Leigh Square bandshell headlined by indie rockers The Matinée,
- Children’s crafts and activities in the free Kids Zone,
- The Artisan Market, PoCo Biz Alley tradeshow and community displays,
- Historical trolley tours leaving every half hour from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.,
- An emergency preparedness fair, and
- Food trucks and a beverage garden.
The festival officially kicks off with the May Day Opening Ceremony on May 4, 7:30 p.m. at Port Coquitlam Recreation Complex, featuring May Pole dancing by local children, dance performances and the presentation of the 2018 May Day Royal Party.
Also on May 4, Art Focus Artists’ Association will open its 25th annual spring show from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Outlet at Leigh Square. Featuring a Springtime in PoCo theme, the show will continue on May 5 and 6 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Art lovers can also drop by the Michael Wright Art Gallery in Leigh Square, where the Imaginings art exhibit by Riverside and Terry Fox Secondary students will run from May 4 to June 25.
On May 11 at 6 p.m., Bryan Ness of PoCo Heritage will guide the year’s first free heritage walk, a leisurely and informative look at Port Coquitlam’s past.
That same evening at 7 p.m., the 80-member Choral Connections Choir will fill Leigh Square with the theme of earth, sea and sky during their free performance in the bandshell.
After the events downtown on May 12, the festivities wrap up May 13 with the Mother’s Day Picnic at Lion’s Park. The Kinsmen Club will host a $4 pancake breakfast from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. May Pole dancing and free family activities will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
PARKING AND ROAD CLOSURES
- Afternoon access to parking lots around Leigh Square will be limited due to tent installations and set ups. Some parking lots will stay closed until noon on Sunday May 13. Street parking is available before and after the parade.
- Leigh Square Place east of Shaughnessy St. will be closed from 7am May 11 to 7pm May 12
- 7am – 7pm – Donald Street and the laneway behind Dairy Queen will be closed
- 7am – 1pm – Shaughnessy (Pitt River to Atkins) Rindall, Central, Hawthorne, Welcher and Tyner Avenues will be closed for parade assembly and dispersal from 9am to 1pm with no on street parking from 7am – 1pm.
- 10am to 1:30pm Shaughnessy St from Wilson Ave to the Shaughnessy St Underpass, Elgin Ave. & Mary Hill Rd, & Hawthorne to Tyner will be closed during the parade
Port Coquitlam first celebrated May Day as a community in 1923, with May Pole dancing and the crowning of a May Queen. While the festival has evolved and grown over the years, it has maintained many of its original traditions, including May Pole dancing and the crowning of local children as May Day “royalty” – a May Queen and Ambassador along with a Royal Party.
Full event details, including road closures and parking visit www.portcoquitlam.ca/maydays
Program Coordinator – Community & Civic Events
City of Port Coquitlam
** Requests for media passes to the various events must be requested in advance by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 604-927-7935