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.
The 2017 May Day Festival was held from May 5-14.
The festivities kicked off on Friday, May 5 with the Opening Ceremony at the Port Coquitlam Recreation Complex.
The May Day Block Party was held on Saturday, May 13 in Leigh Square following the Rotary May Day Parade.
May Day Artisan Market
Over 25 vendors were at the May Day Artisan Market. You will find jewelry, prepared foods, preserves, natural bath products, home decor and much more!
Events continued throughout the week and wrapped up with Mother’s Day in Lions Park on Sunday May 8th.
This year our May Day festivities will not only honour our 94 years of Port Coquitlam’s May Day Celebrations it will also celebrate 150 years of Confederation!
Canada 150 will be threaded throughout many of our action-packed festival activities starting with the Opening Ceremonies on May 5 at 7:30 pm in the Port Coquitlam Recreation Complex. Come out and enjoy choreographed dance performances by our 2017 Royal Party, hear unique and melodic music and vocals performed by Port Coquitlam’s own Chersea, followed by the traditional Maypole Dances performed by students from a number of our local schools.
The 2017 May Day Festival is a week-long celebration, including a number of Youth Week initiatives, that lead up to the spectacular Rotary May Day Parade on Saturday, May 13th at 11 am. Music, floats, marching bands and entertainment, including feature performer Greg Drummond during the Block Party at 1 pm, are just the beginning of an entire day of fun for the entire family! Local businesses are looking forward to seeing you to showcase their services and products at Biz Alley.
The other significant part of May Day is you! We know that we would not be able to make this festival so special without the continued support of our residents, generous sponsors and dedicated volunteers! Special thanks to the Department of Canadian Heritage for their generous financial contribution, our May Day Committee members and countless volunteers and contributors.
On behalf of City Council, we look forward to bringing everyone together once again to celebrate this wonderful Port Coquitlam tradition! Further details can be found on the City’s website, our Facebook page and in your local newspapers.
I look forward to seeing you during our celebrations this year!
May Day Royal Party
Back Row Left to right: Micah Aldous, Nicholas Fowler, Markus Serban, Tyler Nadalin, Vincent Fan, Jayden Jin, Daniel Harvey, Cedric Thomas, Anthony Balaj-Coroiu, Markus Paul, Gavin Yang
Middle Row:Danika Seiden, Saira Heffernan, Katie Chan, Zoe Marshall, Ava Dickson, Katrina Herrera, Victoria Loyo, Elysia Guzzo-Bonifacio, Raychal Brown, Sara Hughes
Front Row: Sereene Smith, Penelope Thomas, Kaiya Whitson, Tegan Goll, Ella Flynn, Cate Pearse, Irina Ungur, Diana Shoar, Violet Jarvis, Abbigayle Pauli, Amelia Mercer, Paige Fenner, Ainsley Mauke.
From left to right: Jayden Jin, Ave Dickson, Katrina Herrera and Daniel Harvey
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
Program Coordinator – Community & Civic Events