Be a Part of May Days in Port Coquitlam – May 3 to 11
Mark your calendar for May 3 to 11, when Port Coquitlam celebrates its 96th annual May Day Festival with free family activities, local culture, live entertainment and more.
Dating back to 1923, May Days is Port Coquitlam’s annual spring festival.
Thousands of people from throughout Metro Vancouver will visit downtown Port Coquitlam on May 11 for the annual Rotary May Day Parade – one of the largest in the region – followed by an afternoon of entertainment and activities in Leigh Square.
The parade starts with a pre-show at 10:30 a.m. by the Vancouver Police Department motorcycle drill squad, followed by the main parade 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.
Groups and individuals interested in being a part of the parade can apply online by April 14 at rotarymayday.ca. Last year’s parade featured 100 participants and was enjoyed by 12,000 spectators.
Party in the Square sponsored this year by Spraggs Law will follow the parade from noon to 5 p.m. Highlights include:
- Live entertainment in the Leigh Square bandshell headlined by Dr. Strangelove, an entertaining and energizing dance band,
- Food trucks and beverage garden,
- Free kids and youth zone,
- Interactive Art Zone (new this year) includes an unveiling of the City’s new street banners and painting of the piano that will be located in front of City Hall.
- An Artisan Market, PoCo Biz Alley tradeshow and community displays,
- An emergency preparedness fair, and
- Heritage Mother’s Day Tea (in place of the Mother’s Day picnic previously held on Sundays).
The City is also offering residents who share their favourite May Day memory on social media or the city website a chance to win a gift card to the City’s recreation facilities.
The festival officially kicks off with the May Day Opening Ceremony on May 3, 7:30 p.m. at the Port Coquitlam Recreation Complex, featuring Maypole dancing by local children, dance performances and the presentation of the 2019 May Day Royal Party.
Also on May 3, Art Focus Artists’ Association will open its 26th annual spring show from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Outlet at Leigh Square which will continue on May 4 and 5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Art lovers can also drop by the Michael Wright Art Gallery and the Outlet, where the Imaginings II, an art exhibit featuring works by Riverside, Terry Fox and CABE Secondary School students will be showcased from May 1 to July 30.
On May 10 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 cabaret songs during their free performance in the bandshell.
May Day’s roots go back centuries. In ancient times May was a time of outdoor celebration, and May Day was celebrated by the Romans with flower-decked parades in honour of Flora, their goddess of flowers. While the festival has evolved and grown over the years, it has maintained many of its original traditions, including Maypole dancing and the crowning of local children as May Day “royalty” – a May Queen and Ambassador along with a Royal Party.
May Days is organized in partnership with the May Days Committee, the Port Coquitlam Centennial Rotary Club and funded by Canadian Heritage. Sponsors include Spraggs Law, The Royal Purple, Port Coquitlam Downtown Business Improvement Association and the Tri-City News.
Full event details, including road closures and parking are available at www.portcoquitlam.ca/maydays.
** Requests for media passes to the various events must be requested in advance by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community & Civic Events Coordinator
City of Port Coquitlam