Fort Langley’s May Day celebrations include a large morning parade, afternoon community fair in the park and Victoria Day activities at the historic fort.
May Day in Fort Langley
The May Day events in Fort Langley take place on the statutory holiday Monday before May 25th each year and attract several thousand people, including many young families.
In 2020 the parade and celebrations take place on Monday, May 18th.
About May Day in Fort Langley
The parade is impressive for a small community and worth the trip out to see, especially if you have young children. The May Day event in the park is small, simple and of most interest to locals and folks with children taking part in the performances, but still worth a quick look if you’re in the area.
The activities at the Fort Langley heritage site are the fort’s typical holiday offerings, with barrel-making, musket-firing and blacksmithing demonstrations. All three of these May Day events combined make a visit to Fort Langley on the Victoria Day weekend each year a great way to spend the holiday Monday.
Fort Langley is one of Vancouver’s best places any time of the year, but especially on special occasions like this.
Fort Langley Parade
The annual May Day Parade in Fort Langley is a pretty good parade. Taking place in the historic town since 1922, the parade lasts for over an hour and includes marching bands, a few floats and lots of antique cars and tractors.
The Parade Route
The parade begins most years at 11 am on Church Street which runs parallel to Glover Road, the town’s main street located just a few blocks from the Fort Langley National Historic Site.
The procession then goes along Mavis Avenue in the direction of the town and away from the fort, and then south along Glover, west on 88th Avenue, north on Trattle, and then east on St. Andrews Avenue before finishing at the Fort Langley Community Park where the May Day in the Park community event then takes place.
Where to be and What to Expect
Best places to watch the parade are in the heart of the town along Mavis Street between Church Street and Glover Road, or anywhere along Glover, especially between Mavis and a few blocks past the cemetery.
Near the cemetery and just past it on Glover there are trees with considerable foliage, so an especially good area if there’s a chance of rain and you don’t have an umbrella.
At the parade expect some entries giving out free candy, a few marching bands and community-group trucks and floats. There are also the Fort Langley May Day Queen and runner-up contestants, local politicians waving from their cars, numerous classic and antique vehicles, and more tractors and heritage farm equipment than almost any other Lower Mainland parade.
From start to finish, the parade most years lasts for about 80 minutes.
Parade Tips & Advice
The following are a couple of tips to help you maximize your parade-time enjoyment.
TIP #1: Arrive early to claim a vacant spot at the side of the road and take a lawn chair or blanket to sit on.
TIP #2: While waiting for the parade to start, get your friend or a family member to save your spot and then head over to 9025 Glover Road and the Fort Langley Village Farmers Market which normally takes place on Saturdays outside the town’s historic church but runs for an extra session most years on Victoria Day.
May Day in the Park
After the May Day parade the holiday celebrations continue in nearby Fort Langley Community Park, which is located at St. Andrews Avenue and Nash Street.
Festivities at the park run all afternoon. Activities include short welcomes by local politicians, May Pole dancing by area school children, the crowning of the new elementary school-aged community queen and a couple of simple amusement ride contraptions for young kids.
At the fair there is also usually mini-golf games and live entertainment. Basically it’s a simple yet popular little community event.
TIP: If you pack a picnic, head to the park as soon as you can before the crowds if you hope to find an empty table.
Victoria Day at the Fort
In addition to all the free events going on in town on the Victoria Day Monday, special activities also take place at Fort Langley the fort.
Located just a few blocks from the heart of downtown, Fort Langley is a historic Hudson’s Bay Company fort that’s open to the public.
The fort is a great place to visit and experience a bit of British Columbian history, especially in the summer and on holidays when they offer things like coopering demonstrations, rifle-firing opportunities and informational talks in the fort’s blacksmithing shop.
For further details about the Fort Langley May Day Parade and other activities, click Fort Langley May Day.
For more information on the town of Fort Langley, see Fort Langley.