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 activites, click What’s Happening This Weekend in Vancouver.
Victoria Day Long Weekend
Victoria Day is always on the Monday before May 25th each year. Consequently, in 2019, the Long Weekend takes place May 19th to 21st.
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 each year 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 takes place on the Saturday, which means May 18th in 2019.
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 many of the same cars take part in the All-British Vancouver-Whistler Run.
During the Sunday event cars 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.
Royal Canadian Family Circus
The first sixteen shows take place at Lansdowne Centre in Richmond from May 9th until the 20th. Other 2019 venues for the circus include Tsawwassen Mills in South Delta and Surrey at Guildford Town Centre, but those are all later in May and early June.
At the Royal Canadian Family Circus there are acrobats up high in the air, acrobats on horses and all sorts of other family-friendly entertainment.
General Admission tickets cost about $25 (plus taxes and online fees). VIP seats cost $35 and VIP Ringside seats cost $50.
TIP: Use promo code VansBestPlaces when purchasing your General Admission seats and get one free ticket per ticket you pay for!
This is a first-rate circus with world-class performers! You won’t want to miss it!
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.
The Cloverdale event 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 2019 the Cloverdale Rodeo Parade takes place on Saturday, May 18th. 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 are May 18th, 19th, 20th, 25th and 26th.
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.
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 97th anniversary in 2019, the Fort Langley May Day Parade starts 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.
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.
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.
- Fort Langley Beer & Food Festival – a food and beer event featuring over 20 breweries and 20 food vendors at the Fort Langley historic site from noon to 6 pm.
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.