Celebrated in Metro Vancouver with a rodeo, parades, car shows and other events, Victoria Day is a stat holiday that takes place on a Monday in late May.
For a list of top things to do over the holidays, see below. For a more comprehensive list of activities, click What’s Happening This Weekend in Vancouver.
Victoria Day Long Weekend in 2020
Victoria Day is always on the Monday before May 25th each year. Consequently, in 2020, the Long Weekend takes place May 15th to 18th.
The holiday commemorates the birthday of Queen Victoria, the British Queen who was born on May 24, 1819.
Major events on the May Long Weekend include the following:
Click on any of the above links to jump to a specific topic, or continue reading to learn about all of the events.
VanDusen & Whistler Car Shows
One major event taking place most years on the Victoria Day May long weekend is the Vancouver All British Field Meet which features hundreds of classic British cars at VanDusen Garden. The car show was originally going to take place on the Saturday, which meant May 16th in 2020. Due to the coronavirus outbreak in the spring, however, it has been postponed until a yet-to-be-determined future date.
When it does take place, expect to see Rovers, Austins, Jaguars, MGs, Triumphs, Minis and various other beautiful British vehicles, plus hundreds of car fanatics.
In addition to the Saturday car show, on the Sunday most years many of the same cars take part in the All-British Vancouver-Whistler Run (which has also been postponed in 2020).
During the Sunday event cars usually meet at West Vancouver’s Park Royal Mall starting at around 8:30 or 9:00 am and all are gone by 10 o’clock. That’s because they set off up to Whistler where they are on display once again for the afternoon, this time in Whistler’s Creekside Village Plaza.
The best time to see the cars at their West Vancouver on the Sunday starting location is just before 9:00 am when the majority are still there.
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 cancelled due to pandemics).
The Cloverdale event usually runs from the Friday to the Monday and includes a rodeo with various cowboy competitions, amusement rides, farm animal displays and other carnival fair activities.
There are usually five rodeo shows over the weekend, with one on the Friday evening, two on the Saturday, one on the Sunday, and then the finals on the holiday Monday.
At the rodeo competitions 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, country dancing each evening and amusement rides from about 4 pm on the Friday until 6 pm on the holiday Monday.
Cloverdale Rodeo Parade
In 2020 the Cloverdale Rodeo Parade is supposed to take place on Saturday, May 16th. The parade is usually a fairly good one, comprising over 80 entries including floats and marching bands. It runs between 56th Avenue and 60th Avenue.
See Cloverdale Rodeo for more information on the rodeo and country fair.
Lower Mainland Railway Adventures
Thomas the Train and Sir Topham Hatt visit the West Coast Railway Heritage Park in Squamish on the Victoria Day Long Weekend, as well as on the following weekend.
On the weekends of the event children and their families can take 20-minute train rides on Thomas in addition to exploring all the site’s various other railroad-related structures and artifacts.
Departures on Thomas the Train take place each day at 9:30, 10:30, 11:30, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 and 4:00. Tickets cost about $29.
2019 dates were May 18th, 19th, 20th, 25th and 26th. 2020 details will likely be similar (unless the event gets cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic).
Click West Coast Railway Heritage Park for more details.
Royal Victorian Party
Stewart Farm is a historic site not far from Crescent Beach and the party features all kinds of old-fashioned celebrations including Morris dancers, ice cream making and birthday cake.
2020 details are to be confirmed.
Fort Langley May Day Parade
Victoria Day is celebrated in Fort Langley on the holiday Monday with a parade and community fair in the town and special events at the fort.
Celebrating its 98th anniversary in 2020, the Fort Langley May Day Parade is scheduled to start on Church Street on the Monday morning. Most years the parade then continues 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 include historic weapons, coopering and blacksmithing demonstrations, as well as a farm tour most years.
(Note: 2020 details are to be confirmed.)
Whistler Go Fest
Whistler Go Fest takes place all four days of the holiday long weekend and includes various outdoor sports competitions, art shows, live entertainment and other festival activities. Also at the festival is a British Car Show on the Sunday.
Also taking place on the Sunday is the Whistler Farmers Market at the base of Blackcomb Mountain from 11 am to 4 pm.
(Note: 2020 details are to be confirmed.)
Other Weekend Activities
On the Victoria Day weekend there are also the following events most years:
- 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 from 10 am until noon.
- 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.
In addition to the above Victoria Day and May Day celebrations, there are other activities taking place over the long weekend, including Summer Night Markets in Richmond and on the North Shore, as well as Saturday Farmers Markets and Sunday Farmers Markets.
For more ideas on things to do, check out the May Events Calendar.