May Days is virtual!
Port Coquitlam staff are now planning a variety of safe and fun activities for this year’s safe May Days celebrations starting the first week of May, including:
- Beautifying the City by giving away hanging basket kits,
- A May Days video to be launched on the City’s social media channels featuring the May Days Royal Party and local talent,
- Creative workshops held with health protocols in place, an online art exhibit, art demonstrations in local parks, themed décor in business windows and more,
- Launch of the Donald Storywalk, featuring stories and artwork along the Donald Pathway, and
- Residents will be encouraged to decorate their windows, plan a picnic with their household and support a local business by ordering in May Days specials and celebrating Port Coquitlam 98th annual Spring festival.
Port Coquitlam kids and teens submit your artwork showing why you love your city to help kickstart this year’s 98th annual May Days activities and brighten up their community.
Similar to last year’s successful “We Are All in This Together” campaign, the City is once again seeking artwork from residents up to age 18 to display online as well as on signs in public spaces and the two digital billboards on Lougheed Highway and the Mary Hill Bypass. This time, the theme is “I Love PoCo” and the signs will also be part of a month-long scavenger hunt with prizes kicking off during May Days.
Submit your artwork by April 28 and get all the details here. You artwork may be selected for the printed signs and billboards, and all submissions will be displayed online. Use bold and bright hues in keeping with the 2021 May Days “Bring on the Colour” theme celebrating the Spring season, community spirit and diversity.
Visit portcoquitlam.ca/artwork for submission requirements and to upload artwork.
Residents are also encouraged to post positive artwork on their own social media accounts at any time, using the hashtag #ilovepoco and tagging the City on Twitter or Instagram @cityofpoco or on Facebook @portcoquitlam. The materials from last year’s signs in public spaces will be repurposed for this year’s campaign.
I LOVE PoCo Scavenger Hunt
I Love PoCo Scavenger Hunt
Throughout May, residents will be encouraged to get outdoors to explore the community’s parks and public spaces, check out all of the inspiring artwork, and to join in a month-long I Love PoCo scavenger hunt with a chance to win one of five $50 gift cards to a Port Coquitlam business of their choice.
Participants will need to find five signs with I Love PoCo stickers on the back, take photos with all five signs and add them to a single post on social media using #ilovepoco #portcoquitlam and tagging or naming the Port Coquitlam business they would like to support with a gift card. Bonus entry will be given to those who express what they love about living in the City. More details will be provided when the signs are posted.
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 modern times, Port Coquitlam’s May Day celebration, has a May Queen and an Ambassador, along with the Royal Party, preside over the festivities, which normally include a parade, music, entertainment and dancing around maypoles.
This year’s online celebration is the latest proactive action Port Coquitlam has taken to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and to support the community at this challenging time.
Thank you to our partners and sponsors!
May Days is organized in partnership with the May Days Committee and the Port Coquitlam Centennial Rotary Club.
Thank you to our sponsors: