May Day

The City of Port Coquitlam has been celebrating May Day since 1923. Our community’s modern-day celebration includes more than a week of fun-filled activities including May Pole dancing, the May Day Rotary Parade followed by the May Day Block Party with food trucks artisans, outdoor concerts, children’s activities, and BizAlley, and a Mother’s Day Picnic the next day.

Save the Date for 2018!

May 4 – May Day Opening Ceremony & Banquet

May 12 – May Day Block Party in Leigh Square following the Rotary May Day Parade


May Day Royal Party

Open to Port Coquitlam students in Grades 1, 2, 4 and 5 – Represent your City as a May Day Royal Party member!

All positions are selected by a random draw for each school.

Application Deadline: Friday February 2, 2018

Applications are being accepted for:                                                                                                 

  • Flower Girls – Grades 1-2
  • Princesses and Lancers (male dancers) – Grades 4-5

Duties will include participating in:

  • Hip hop dance practices – Thursdays, Flower Girls 4-4:40 pm, Princess & Lancers 4:40-5:30 pm

Beginning Feb 8 at Port Coquitlam Rec Complex (except during Spring Break)

  • May Day Selection Tea –  The evening of Monday, April 9
  • Dress Rehearsal Friday, May 4 from 12 – 2 pm
  • May Day Banquet and Opening Ceremonies – Friday May 4  in the evening
  • May Day Parade with the City float, followed by May Day Luncheon – May 12, 10:30 am-1 pm

Rotary May Day Parade

The Rotary May Day Parade will be held Saturday May 12, 2018.  Parade applications will be made available here in February.

Origins of May Day Celebrations

The month of May is believed to have been named for the Roman goddess of spring and growth, Maia. The month of May heralds the awakening and flourishing of nature and the coming of spring. In the City of Port Coquitlam, this month marks the celebration of May Day.

In ancient times, May was a time for outdoor celebrations. In Rome, it was a time that was sacred to Flora, the goddess of flowers. The Romans celebrated May Day with flower-decked parades. In England, the village youth went to the woods to gather spring flowers and hawthorne branches, returning singing and dancing. The flowering boughs they gathered were used to decorate the May tree. As the white flowered hawthorne tree became the tree most often decorated, it came to be called the May tree. In more recent celebrations, the May pole, symbolic of the May tree it has replaced, has been decorated with colourful ribbons.

The City of Port Coquitlam first introduced the celebration of May in 1916 when the principal of James Park School, Mrs. Enid Cox, arranged a small celebration for her pupils. The first official community May Day was held in 1923, when James Park and Central schools combined their efforts. It was in 1923 that Miss Evelyn Mars was crowned as Port Coquitlam’s first official May Queen.

In today’s Port Coquitlam May Day celebration, a May Queen and an Ambassador, along with the Royal Party, preside over the festivities, which include a parade, music, entertainment and dancing around maypoles.

2017 May Day Photos

May Day 2017


Sandra Battle
Program Coordinator – Community & Civic Events
Tel 604.927.7935