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 2023 include the following:
All British Field Meet Car Show | Cloverdale Rodeo | Royal Canadian Circus | Jurassic Quest | Victoria Day Weekend Boat Party | Fort Langley Parade |
Other events that take place on the May Long Weekend most years include the following:
Whistler Go Fest | Royal Victorian Party | Other Events
Victoria Day Long Weekend
Victoria Day is always on the Monday before May 25th each year. Consequently, in 2023, the long weekend takes place from May 19th until the 22nd.
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 returned in 2022 and even more are back in 2023.
The Cloverdale Rodeo, for example, was cancelled in 2022, but expects to be back this year. The Royal Canadian International Circus came to town in June and July last year, but it has shows in May in 2023. Other events that normally happen on the Victoria Day Long Weekend, and are doing so again in 2023, include the All British Field Meet Car Show at VanDusen Garden and Fort Langley May Day Parade.
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 20th in 2023.
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.
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 or June.
The Royal Canadian International Circus is a great circus company and highly recommended. It returns to the Lower Mainland in 2023. The circus is in Richmond this year, at Lansdowne Centre, from May 18th until the 22nd. It’s also in both Surrey and Vancouver earlier in the month. It’s at Surrey’s Guildford Town Centre from May 4th to 7th and at Vancouver’s Concord Pacific Place from May 11th to 14th.
(TIP: If you want to see the circus and save money, if you use the promo code VANSBESTPLACES, you can get 2-for-1 pricing on general admission.)
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 2023, Jurassic Quest visits both Vancouver and Abbotsford during the month of May. It’s in the Vancouver Convention Centre from May 12th to 14th. The attraction then moves to the TRADEX Centre in Abbotsford for the Victoria Day Long Weekend. It’s open from May 19th to 22nd, 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 2023 the Victoria Day Weekend Boat Party happens on Saturday, May 20th.
This year, the event takes place on the Burrard Queen. The vessel 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 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.
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 101st anniversary in 2023, the Fort Langley May Day Parade starts 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 Langley National Historic Site, the Victoria Day activities typically include historic weapons, coopering and blacksmithing demonstrations. There are also farm tours most years.
Click Fort Langley May Day for more information about the Victoria Day celebrations in town.
The Cloverdale Rodeo
The Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair takes place in Surrey at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds on the Victoria Day Long Weekend. The event didn’t happen in 2020, 2021 or 2022. It happens again though on May 19th to 22nd in 2023.
The Cloverdale event runs from the Friday to the Monday of the long weekend. 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 throughout the weekend.
To learn more about this event see our article about the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair.
Cloverdale Rodeo Parade
The 2023 Cloverdale Rodeo Parade likely takes place on Saturday, May 20th (although exact details are to be confirmed). The parade is 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.
See our article about the Cloverdale Rodeo for more information.
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 taking place on the Sunday most years is the Whistler Farmers Market at the base of Blackcomb Mountain.
Whistler Go Fest hasn’t happened since 2019. Whether it takes place in 2023 is to be confirmed.
Royal Victorian Party
Surrey’s Stewart Farm usually celebrates on the Saturday of the long weekend with the 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 is usually live entertainment, ice cream-making activities and birthday cake.
Whether the historic site hosts an event on the May Long Weekend in 2023 is to be confirmed. Fingers crossed that it does!
Other Weekend Activities
On the Victoria Day weekend there are also the following events most years:
- Vancouver Comic Arts Festival – a comic-themed trade show with free admission at the Roundhouse Community Centre. (May 20th & 21st, 2023)
- Engine 374 Anniversary – a free event at the Roundhouse Community Centre celebrating the arrival of the first locomotive in Vancouver in the late 1880s. (TBC for 2023.)
- Victoria Day at Burnaby Village Museum – Queen Victoria’s birthday is celebrated with cupcakes and live entertainment at the museum most years. Free admission. (TBC for 2023.)
- Fort Langley Brewhall Beer Festival – a beer-tasting event that features craft beers, food vendors and live music at Fort Langley Park. (On May 20 in 2023.)
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.