Centennial May Days Festival Draws Large Crowds

Port Coquitlam, BC – May 15, 2023… The City of Port Coquitlam’s 100th annual May Day Festival wrapped on Sat. May 13, greeting over 25,000 people who gathered in downtown Port Coquitlam.

The event began with the opening ceremonies on Fri. May 5 with over 650 spectators at the Jon Baillie Arena at the Port Coquitlam Community Centre (PCCC) featuring this year’s Royal Party and traditional Maypole dancing by local children and seniors. The evening included live music entertainment by Marie Hui Duo and performances by the Underground Circus. The first 100 spectators also received a one-day Recreation pass as part of the festivities.

Thousands of people from throughout Metro Vancouver headed to downtown Port Coquitlam on May 13 to cheer on the kids in the PoCo May Day Kids’ Bike Race. It was a record-breaking number for the Kids’ Bike Race with over 500 kids racing along Shaughnessy Street surpassing the 2019 PoCo Grand Prix Kids Race of 400. Kids from ages 3-12 years old rode along Shaughnessy Street to kick off the Rotary May Day Parade.

“What a day it was in the City of Port Coquitlam. The 100th May Days brought so much vibrancy to our community, both for visitors and our local residents. We welcomed thousands of people and truly showed them what an amazing place this city is,” said Mayor Brad West. “This event was a huge hit – the biggest event by attendance in the city’s history. From the opening ceremonies, kids’ bike race, the parade, to the Party in the Square it was by far, a very successful event. The festival was an atmosphere of so much community pride in the heart of our downtown. Port Coquitlam was thriving with spirit, a city people wanted to come and visit. It was a great day to showcase that and I am very proud of this entire day and our community.”

The annual Rotary May Day Parade – one of the largest in the region – featuring colourful floats, marching bands and dancers from over 90 local community groups and businesses. The Fox Family led the parade as the 2023 Parade Marshal and the emcee was Kevin Lim, well-known from the award-winning syndicated “Mornings with Kevin and Sonia” show, heard on radio stations across Canada and a Riverside Secondary Grad who is proud to call Port Coquitlam his hometown.

The afternoon wrapped up with Party in the Square at the Terry Fox Hometown Square at the Port Coquitlam Community Centre (PCCC).

  • Live entertainment headlined by JoJo Mason – A Canadian country music singer-songwriter, a multiple CCMA Award nominee and winner of the Entertainer of the Year award at the 2022 BCCMA awards.
  • Culturally diverse performances by Royal Academy Bhangra Dance, Wild Moccasin Dancers, Parvaneh Belly Dance and Soul Survivors
  • Food trucks by Camion Café, Cazba Express, Little Ooties, Patricia’s Catering, Praguery, Reel Mac and Cheese, Banana Bike, Gary’s Kettle Corn, Pizza Pietra, Squish Juicery and Mr. Taco.
  • Beverage garden hosted by the Kinsmen club which included:
    • Boardwalk Brewring
    • Nice Life Co.
    • Patina Brewing
    • PoCo Brothers Brewing
    • Taylight Brewing
    • Tinhouse Brewing
  • Kids and youth zone,
  • Interactive art zone with Arts & Culture, PoCo Heritage, Art Focus, and PoCo Arts Council,
  • May Day Market featuring local businesses and artisans, and community displays,
  • A Community Safety Fair – featuring Quake Cottage Earthquake Simulator and
  • A family quiet zone to take a break from the excitement in partnership with Kinsight.

“What an overwhelming success. Thank you to the thousands of residents who took time out of their day to come and experience this event, “said Cllr. Paige Petriw, Council’s designate on community experience, celebrations, events and inclusion. “I am so proud to call Port Coquitlam home.”

May Days is organized in partnership with the May Days Committee, the Port Coquitlam Centennial Rotary Club and funded by Canadian Heritage and supported by the Province of British Columbia.

Sponsors include:

  • Beedie
  • Dominion Lending Centres
  • Tri-City News – Media Sponsor
  • Port Coquitlam Business Improvement Association (PoCo BIA)
  • PoCo Heritage Museum and Archives
  • Global BC – Radio/TV Sponsor
  • Quantum Properties
  • Kostklip
  • Elevator Constructors – IUEC Local 82
  • Barclay DKI
  • Vancity
  • PoCo Sweet Shop
  • Coquitlam Florist
  • Starbucks (Prairie Avenue)
  • Save-On Foods (Ottawa Street)

Community Partners

Thank you to PoCo Arts Council, TriCity Wordsmiths, PoCo Foundation, Art Focus, SD43, Terry Fox Library, Kinsmen, Scouts, and Kinsight.


May Days 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. In England, village youth would collect flowering boughs to decorate hawthorne trees – the predecessors to the Maypole.

Port Coquitlam first celebrated May Day as a community in 1923, with Maypole 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 Maypole dancing and the crowning of local children as May Day “royalty” – a May Queen and Ambassador along with a Royal Party.

Photos and sponsorship information can be found at portcoquitlam.ca/maydays.

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Ximena Ibacache
Manager of Communications & Administrative Services
City of Port Coquitlam
Tel 604.927.5499
Email ibacachex@portcoquitlam.ca