99th Annual May Days Festivities
Get Involved In 2023
Next year, we will celebrate 100 years of May Days! Get involved in our annual spring festival that attracts thousands of people of all ages from throughout Metro Vancouver. Engage the community by sponsoring one of the many elements of this exciting event.
May Days Flash Fiction Contest
May Days Flash Fiction Contest | Apr. 15 – May 15
Sharpen your pencils and get ready to write! The Flash Fiction contest runs from April 15 – May 15. The contest is a collaboration between the City of Port Coquitlam and the Terry Fox Library. Each entry must be a mystery story that takes place in Port Coquitlam and contains a secret passage. Flash Fiction stories must be short, containing a maximum of 750 words. The Grand Prize winning story will be professionally illustrated and featured on the Donald Storywalk. For more information and to enter, click here!
This year we are celebrating the 99th Anniversary of Port Coquitlam’s May Day Celebrations!
We are extremely fortunate to have another team of dedicated volunteers lead this festival through the May Day Festival Roundtable to bring our community together for a jam-packed week of fun for the entire family. On behalf of City Council and our staff, we look forward to bringing everyone together once again to celebrate our PoCo pride!
Join council and community leaders as we kick off the 99th Annual May Days Festival at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 5, with the opening ceremonies in the new spectator arena at the Port Coquitlam Community Centre.
Enjoy the official opening, which includes the installation of the Royal Party and maypole dances performed by local elementary school children.
Visit local student’s art exhibitions, Imaginings IV, at Michael Wright Art Gallery and Outlet Gallery. The art exhibition opening reception will take place on May 6, from 6–8 p.m.
Join us Saturday, May 7 for a day of family fun and enjoy a delicious pancake breakfast from 8 to 11 am, hosted by the Kinsmen Club of Coquitlam and the 4th PoCo Scouts, with all proceeds going to the Boy Scouts.
Bring your lawn chair and join our community as we line the streets of downtown Port Coquitlam to watch the vibrant parade floats and marching bands. Make sure you stick around for the Party in the Square to enjoy May Days Market, entertainment, refreshments and our community spirit at its best.
The participation of our residents, sponsors and volunteers are what make May Days so special. I’d like to give a special thank you to our May Day Committee members, the Port Coquitlam Centennial Rotary Club and our volunteers for the countless hours they put in and to the Department of Canadian Heritage for their generous financial contribution. Thank you also to our sponsors Spraggs Law, The Royal Purple, Port Coquitlam Downtown Business Improvement Association and the Tri-City News.
On behalf of City Council, we look forward to having you join us for our 99th May Days Celebrations and be a part of history! Further details can be found on the City’s website, social media chanels and in your local newspaper.
See you there!
Thank you to our partners and sponsors!
2022 Live Entertainment
Dr. Strangelove is a highly entertaining, multi-faceted, six-piece dance band with five talented lead vocalists, who can cover everything from Frank Sinatra to Lady Gaga, and from AC/DC to Shania Twain. They are known for their musical talent, genre diversity, amazing harmonies, witty sense of humour and fun dance moves, plus they will always make you feel like you are part of the show.
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.