Be In Downtown Port Coquitlam For The 99th Annual May Days Festival
Join us for Port Coquitlam’s 99th annual May Day Festival. From May 5 to 7, the City will be animated with free family activities, local culture, live entertainment and more.
The fun starts on May 5 at the Port Coquitlam Community Centre – Jon Baillie Arena at 7:30 p.m. with the evening opening ceremonies, featuring this year’s Royal Party and traditional Maypole dancing by local children. The evening will include live music entertainment by Paul Filek and performances by the Underground Circus. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The first 99 spectators will receive a one-day Recreation pass.
Events continue throughout the next few days. Don’t miss the student art exhibitions opening in Leigh Square on Fri. May 6, with a reception from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Michael Wright Art Gallery. Enjoy a free outdoor performance by Choral Connections choir at the Leigh Square Bandshell at 7:00 p.m.
On Sat. May 7, start your day with a pre-parade pancake breakfast from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m.in the Outlet in Leigh Square, with the $5 cost supporting the 4th PoCo Scouts.
Head over to Shaughnessy Street at 11:00 a.m. for the official start of the annual Rotary May Day Parade, featuring colourful floats, marching bands and dancers from over 60 local community groups and businesses.
Party in the Square, sponsored by Spraggs Law, follows the parade from noon to 5:00 p.m. and features live headliner Dr. Strangelove, May Days Market, children and youth activities, art exhibits and hands on art making, food trucks (Jerk Shack and Indish Foods) and beverage garden, Emergency Preparedness Fair, Family Quiet Zone, PoCo Heritage Museum and Archives, Art Focus community painting station, PoCo Arts Council chalk art, and more.
Other activities include Youth Week events and the May Days Flash Fiction Contest. Full schedule below.
- Fri May 6 – Sun. May 8 | 6:00 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Limited access to parking lots at City Hall, Elks Hall and along Donald Street for event set up.
- Sat. May 7 | 6:00 am – 12:00 am – Leigh Square Place east of Shaughnessy Street closed. Donald Street and the laneway behind Dairy Queen closed.
- Sat. May 7 | 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Shaughnessy Street (Pitt River Road to Atkins Avenue) Rindall, Central, Hawthorne, Welcher & Tyner Avenues closed for parade assembly and dispersal. No street parking from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
- Sat. May 7 | 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Shaughnessy Street from Wilson Avenue to underpass, Elgin Avenue and Mary Hill Road and Hawthorne to Tyner closed during the parade. There will be no on-street parking during these times.
For information about alternate routes, the parade route map, and full schedule of events, please visit portcoquitlam.ca/maydays.
Schedule of Events
- May Day Opening Ceremony, 7:30 p.m. (doors open 6:30 p.m.) at the Jon Baillie Arena at the Port Coquitlam Community Recreation Centre – 2150 Wilson Avenue
- Art Exhibitions Opening Reception – 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at 2253 Leigh Square.
- Free Outdoor Performance by Choral Connections Choir – Leigh Square Bandshell 7:00 p.m.
- Pancake Breakfast, 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. at Leigh Square at the Outlet – $5
- Rotary May Day Parade, 11:00 a.m. start for parade along Shaughnessy, Elgin, Mary Hill and Hawthorne, ending at Tyner.
- Party in the Square sponsored by Spraggs Law, noon to 5 p.m. children’s activities, including Little Sprocket bike course; live entertainment by local talent; featuring, performance by Dr. Strangelove; art exhibits; food truck and beverage garden; May Days Market; Youth Zone, Emergency Preparedness Fair; Family Quiet Zone; Interactive Art Zone with pollinator themed art activities; PoCo Heritage Museum and Archives;Mother’s Day Card making; Art Focus community painting station; PoCo Arts Council chalk art; and more.
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. In England, village youth would collect flowering boughs to decorate hawthorne trees – the predecessors to the May Pole.
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.
Manager of Communications & Administrative Services
City of Port Coquitlam