May Days

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100th Annual May Days Festivities

In 2023, we’re celebrating 100 years of May Days! Join us for the centennial of this iconic Port Coquitlam event from May 5-13.
 
The festival officially kicks off with the opening ceremony on May 5 at the Port Coquitlam Community Centre, featuring maypole dancing by local children, dance performances and the presentation of the 2023 May Day Royal Party. The main parade is on May 13 in downtown Port Coquitlam. This year, due to the construction at Leigh Square, Party in the Square will be held at the Port Coquitlam Community Centre (PCCC) – Terry Fox Hometown Square with lots of entertainment and activities for everyone.

Calling Past Royal Party Members

We are looking for past royal party members to join the iconic Port Coquitlam centennial May Day parade on May 13. Each alumnus will receive a sash with the year that they were part of the May Days celebrations and will be part of the City’s float in the parade as part of this historic celebration.

Join us! Sign up online or download sign-up sheet to mail or drop-off at City Hall (2580 Shaughnessy St, Port Coquitlam, BC V3C 2A8).

Join the Rotary May Day Parade

Participate in the upcoming 100th Annual Rotary May Day parade — one of the longest-running, iconic community parades in the Lower Mainland.

Apply by Friday, April 13, 2023 to be a part of this PoCo tradition. The parade will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2023.

If you have questions regarding the Rotary May Day Parade, please visit rotarymayday.ca or email register@rotarymayday.ca.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Get involved in the 100th anniversary of 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.

Contact the Special Events team today to learn more about creating a unique sponsorship package that suits an organization’s needs at specialevents@portcoquitlam.ca or call 604.927.7935 to discuss your custom sponsorship.

Volunteer Opportunities

Help make May Days happen! We are looking for community members to volunteer at this exciting event. To get involved, apply to volunteer at Special Events.

Thank you to our partners and sponsors!

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.

Contact

Special Events
Tel. 604.927.7935
Email specialevents@portcoquitlam.ca