Celebrated in Metro Vancouver with a parade, car show and other events, Victoria Day is a stat holiday that takes place on a Monday in May.
Major events on the May Long Weekend in 2022 include the following:
Other Major events on the May Long Weekend (most years) include the following:
In addition to the above, in 2022, there is also the Vancouver International Wine Festival. That event normally happens in February. In 2022, however, it has been postponed until around the third week in May.
Also in the Lower Mainland in mid-May is Jurassic Quest. It was here over the May Long Weekend in 2019 and it’s back again this year too! The West of Main Art Walk also happens in May. This year its main events are on May 18th and 19th as well as May 28th and 29th, so it happens just before and after the May Long Weekend. May 19th, however, is the Friday of the holiday weekend.
Click on any of the above links to jump to a specific topic, or continue reading to learn about all of the events.
Victoria Day Long Weekend
Victoria Day is always on the Monday before May 25th each year. Consequently, in 2022, the long weekend takes place from May 20th until the 23rd.
The holiday commemorates the birthday of Queen Victoria, the British Queen who was born on May 24th, 1819.
Most events that normally occur on the May Long Weekend didn’t happen in 2020 or 2021 due to COVID-19. Most events return in 2022. Some regular ones have been cancelled or postponed for this year, however, but a few extra events are happening.
The Cloverdale Rodeo, for example, has been cancelled for 2022. The Royal Canadian International Circus also usually visits around the May Long Weekend. This year, though, the circus doesn’t visit until the end of June and beginning of July. The circus is still happening in 2022, just not until a couple of months later.
Other events that are also taking place on the May Long Weekend this year include the Vancouver International Wine Festival (which normally happens in late February) and Jurassic Quest (which is a dinosaur event at the Tradex Centre in Abbotsford).
Vancouver Wine Festival
Taking place three months later than it usually does, the Vancouver International Wine Festival runs from May 16th to May 22nd in 2022.
This event is one of the largest of its kind in North America. It showcases wines from all over the world. It includes seminars, workshops, dinners and wine tasting events.
To learn more about the events in 2022 see the Vancouver International Wine Festival‘s official website.
British Car Show at VanDusen Garden
A major event that takes place most years on the Victoria Day May long weekend is the Vancouver All British Field Meet. It features hundreds of classic British cars at VanDusen Garden. The car show happens on the Saturday, which means on May 21st in 2022.
At the car show expect to see Rovers, Austins, Jaguars, MGs, Triumphs, Minis and various other beautiful British vehicles, plus hundreds of car fanatics. It’s an amazing event!
Click VanDusen Car Show for more information about the event in Vancouver.
Jurassic Quest in Abbotsford
Jurassic Quest is a fun and educational attraction that travels to various cities across North America each year. It features life-size dinosaurs and lots of activities for kids, including fossil digging, themed bouncy houses and arts and crafts. There are also animatronic rides and some of the dinosaurs walk with guests!
In 2022, Jurassic Quest visits both Vancouver and Abbotsford during the month of May. It’s in the Vancouver Convention Centre from May 13th to 15th. The attraction then moves to the TRADEX Centre in Abbotsford for the Victoria Day Long Weekend. It’s open from May 20th to 23rd, so from Friday to Monday.
For more information about the attraction click Jurassic Quest.
Victoria Day Weekend Boat Party
The Victoria Day Weekend Boat Party is a special event organized by Vancouver Boat Parties. The company offers various adult-only parties on luxurious boats at different times of the year. In 2022 the Victoria Day Weekend Boat Party happens on Saturday, May 21st.
This year, the event takes place on the Burrard Queen that departs from 760 Pacific Boulevard in False Creek. There are two levels on the boat that are both great for partying and enjoying amazing views from the water. Activities onboard are similar to those at a regular night club, including lots of music and dancing. There is also a premium bar serving alcoholic beverages and appetizers.
The cruise this year starts at 8:30 pm and returns to the dock at 11:30 pm. However, the party runs from about 8:00 pm until midnight for those that arrive early and want to stick around later. All guests are asked to wear white clothes. Tickets start at $25 in 2022.
To learn more about this event visit the Vancouver Boat Parties‘ website.
Fort Langley May Day Parade
Fort Langley usually celebrates Victoria Day on the holiday Monday with a parade and community fair in the town and special events at the fort.
Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2022, the Fort Langley May Day Parade is scheduled to start at 11:00 am on the Monday morning.
The parade usually goes along Mavis, then Glover Road, 88th Avenue, Trattle Street and St. Andrews before finishing at the Fort Langley Community Park.
Fair events at the park include the piping in of the town’s May Queens, May Pole dancing and live entertainment. It’s a small community event, but fun (especially for people from the area).
At the same time as the fair in the town, over at the Fort, the Victoria Day activities typically include historic weapons, coopering and blacksmithing demonstrations. There are also farm tours most years.
The Cloverdale Rodeo
The Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair takes place in Surrey at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds on the Victoria Day Long Weekend every year (or at least ones when it doesn’t get negatively impacted by pandemics). In 2020 and 2021 the event was cancelled. It has been cancelled again also in 2022. It hopes to be back, however, in 2023.
The Cloverdale event usually runs from the Friday to the Monday. It includes a rodeo with various cowboy competitions, amusement rides, farm animal displays and other carnival fair activities.
There are typically five rodeo shows over the weekend. One is on the Friday evening, two are on the Saturday and one is on the Sunday. The finals are on the holiday Monday.
Competitions at the rodeo include bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, barrel racing and mutton busting.
At the Country Fair there is a West Coast Lumberjack Show each day, skateboarding competitions with thousands of dollars’ worth of prize money and country dancing each evening. There are also amusement rides from about 4 pm on the Friday until 6 pm on the holiday Monday.
Cloverdale Rodeo Parade
Had it not been cancelled, the 2021 Cloverdale Rodeo Parade would have taken place on Saturday, May 22nd. The parade is usually a fairly good one, comprising over 80 entries including floats and marching bands.
In years when it does take place, the parade runs between 56th Avenue and 60th Avenue. The next Cloverdale Rodeo Parade is scheduled for 2023. Let’s hope it can happen then!
See our article about the Cloverdale Rodeo for more information.
Royal Canadian Circus
One of the Lower Mainland’s most popular attractions on the Victoria Day Long Weekend is the Royal Canadian International Circus. The Alberta-based circus brings acts from around the world to the Vancouver area each year in May and June (or at least that’s normally the case).
Shows in 2021 were tentatively scheduled to happen between May 20th and June 6th in Richmond, Vancouver and Surrey. Unfortunately, the shows were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic that year.
The Royal Canadian International Circus is a great circus company and highly recommended. It’s set to return to the Lower Mainland in 2022, although not in May (which is when it normally visits). This year, instead of visiting in May, the circus will be in Surrey on June 23rd to 26th. It’ll also be in Richmond on June 30th to July 3rd.
(TIP: If you want to see the circus later in the summer, if you use the promo code VANSBESTPLACES, you can get 2-for-1 pricing on general admission.)
Whistler Go Fest
Whistler Go Fest usually takes place all four days of the holiday long weekend. It includes various outdoor sports competitions, art shows, live entertainment and other festival activities. Also at the festival is the British Car Show on the Sunday. Also taking place on the Sunday most years is the Whistler Farmers Market at the base of Blackcomb Mountain.
In 2020 Whistler Go Fest was going to happen on the Friday to Saturday of May 15th to 18th. However, the entire festival was cancelled due to health concerns surrounding COVID-19.
In the spring of 2021 Whistler closed for the ski season at the end of March. In fact, the entire resort temporarily ceased operations because of COVID-19. For a period of time non-essential travel to the region was also strongly discouraged, especially for people outside the Vancouver Coastal Health Region.
As a result of the above, Whistler Go Fest changed its format to an all-online event in 2021. On offer were virtually-led activities like yoga, arts and crafts and different educational seminars.
Details for 2022 are to be confirmed. Hopefully there will be the opportunity for the festival to take place in-person again.
Lower Mainland Railway Adventures
Thomas the Tank Engine and Sir Topham Hatt visit the West Coast Railway Heritage Park in Squamish on the Victoria Day Long Weekend most years. They usually stay in town for the following weekend too.
On the weekends of the event children and their families can take 20-minute train rides on Thomas. They can also explore all the site’s various railroad-related structures and artifacts.
Departures on Thomas the Tank Engine usually take place each day at 9:30, 10:30, 11:30, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 and 4:00. Tickets cost about $29.
2020 dates were going to be May 23rd, 24th, 30th and 31st. The event was initially postponed until the fall and then completely cancelled. The event didn’t happen in 2021 either.
In 2022, Thomas the Tank Engine is scheduled to visit on May 28th and 29th, so not on the long weekend.
Click West Coast Railway Heritage Park for more details about the venue.
Royal Victorian Party
Stewart Farm is a historic site not far from Crescent Beach in South Surrey. The party on the long weekend features all kinds of old-fashioned celebrations. There are Morris dancers, ice cream making activities and birthday cake.
Although visitors could still explore the grounds, the farmhouse at Stewart Farm was closed for most of 2020 and 2021. Hopefully the event will be able to run again in 2022.
Other Weekend Activities
On the Victoria Day weekend there are also the following events most years:
- Jurassic Quest – a touring attraction that features life-sized and moving dinosaurs. It’s in Vancouver on the weekend after Mother’s Day (on May 13th to 15th) and then in Abbotsford at the Tradex Centre on the holiday weekend (from May 20th to 23rd).
- Vancouver Comic Arts Festival – a comic-themed trade show with free admission at the Roundhouse Community Centre. (May 21 & 22, 2022)
- Engine 374 Anniversary – a free event at the Roundhouse Community Centre celebrating the arrival of the first locomotive in Vancouver in the late 1880s.
- Victoria Day at Trout Lake – a small free event featuring a bouncy castle, craft activities and games at the Trout Lake Community Centre at 3360 Victoria Drive. (TBC for 2022.)
- Victoria Day at Burnaby Village Museum – Queen Victoria’s birthday is celebrated with cupcakes and live entertainment from 11:00 am until 4:30 pm. Free admission.
- Fort Langley Beer Festival – a beer-tasting event that features craft beers, food vendors and live music at Fort Langley Park. (On May 21 in 2022.)
In addition to the above Victoria Day events, there are other activities taking place over the long weekend most years. They include Summer Night Markets in Richmond and on the North Shore, as well as Saturday Farmers Markets and Sunday Farmers Markets. The farmers markets are probably happening in 2022. The night markets might not be (and definitely aren’t on the May Long Weekend).
For more ideas on things to do, check out the May Events Calendar.
To learn about Victoria Day Long Weekend events in British Columbia’s capital city, visit VictoriasBestPlaces.com.