The Victoria Day Long Weekend is May 21 to 23 in 2022. There is usually a lot to do in the Lower Mainland including a rodeo, car show and Victorian parties.
Last year wasn’t a typical year, however, because of COVID-19. The same as the year before, not much happened in 2021. 2022, however, is looking much more promising! A number of events will likely take place (all things going according to plan)!
What to do during the Victoria Day Long Weekend in 2022
Top May Long Weekend activities in the Lower Mainland most years include the Cloverdale Rodeo and the Vancouver All British Field Meet car show at VanDusen Garden. The rodeo has been cancelled for the second year in a row and isn’t happening this year. The car show, however, is still going ahead on May 21.
Also on the holiday weekend most years are the Royal Victorian Party at Stewart Farm, the GoFest Outdoor Festival at Whistler, and celebratory activities at Fort Langley. These didn’t happen last year, but hopefully will in 2022. Exact details, however, are to be confirmed.
Another event that takes place over the May Long Weekend in 2022 is Jurassic Quest. It’s a dinosaur exhibition featuring life-sized moving dinosaurs. The dinosaurs are in Abbotsford from May 20 to 23, but also in Vancouver at the Convention Centre the week before.
Things you could do on the long weekend both last year and this year also include outdoor adventure games with Vancouver Mysteries, exploring Lower Mainland Parks and Nature, and hanging out at any of Vancouver’s Best Beaches. Many of the Lower Mainland’s Outdoor Swimming Pools also open for the season just in time for the holiday.
New for 2022, the Vancouver International Wine Festival takes place during the holiday weekend in May. It normally happens in late February. This year, however, it runs from May 16 to 22.
Taking place just prior to the Victoria Day Long Weekend, and then again on the weekend after, another great event in May is the West of Main Art Walk. A preview exhibition of the art takes place on the Wednesday and Thursday of May 18 and 19 at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown. The following weekend, on May 28 and 29, numerous Vancouver-based art studios open their doors to the public.
Vancouver and Lower Mainland Parks & Beaches
Provided the weather is good, top places to be in Metro Vancouver in years with COVID have been area parks. City and regional parks are open, as are provincial parks like Alice Lake near Squamish, Bridal Veil Falls and Cultus Lake in the Fraser Valley, and Rolley Lake near Mission. A couple of years ago many parks were actually closed. Fortunately that’s not the case this year.
If the weather is hot (like it was in mid-May a couple of years ago), area beaches will also be popular places on the May Long Weekend.
For a list of parks in the Lower Mainland click Vancouver Parks and Places in Nature.
For a list of places to hang out on the sand see our article about Vancouver’s Best Beaches.
Vancouver International Wine Festival
The Vancouver International Wine Festival is one of the largest and most prestigious wine festivals in the world. It normally happens in February or March. In 2022, however, it runs from May 16 to 22.
The festival includes dinners, seminars and numerous wine tasting events. If you like wine, it’s an event you won’t want to miss!
For details see our article about the Vancouver International Wine Festival.
A major dinosaur exhibition sets up at the Tradex Centre in Abbotsford from the Friday until the Monday of the long weekend in 2022. It’s also at the Vancouver Convention Centre the week before (from May 13 to 15).
Jurassic Quest features life-sized dinosaurs that move! The attraction also has dinosaur rides and kid-friendly activities like crafts and fossil digging.
To buy tickets and learn more about this event, see the jurassicquest.com website.
Vancouver All British Field Meet
At the event there are close to 500 vehicles including MGs, Jaguars, Minis and pretty much every imaginable type of British-made car. Every year there are some ultra-special editions too. A couple of years ago Canadian artist Robert Bateman’s 1950’s “Grizzly Torque” Land Rover was on display, as was an Austin-Healey Frogeye and a Jaguar XK120.
If you like British cars and it’s a sunny day, in years when the event does take place there is no other place you’ll want to be! May is one of the best times of the year to see the gardens anyway, so this weekend is usually a perfect time to visit VanDusen even if you aren’t a total car fanatic.
Click Vancouver All British Field Meet for more information.
Victoria Day Weekend Boat Party
Vancouver Boat Parties offers cruises on special occasions throughout the year. In 2022 the company hosts a Victoria Day Weekend Boat Party on Saturday, May 21st.
The event is a 3-hour cruise that departs from 760 Pacific Boulevard in Vancouver. Boarding begins at 8:00 pm and the cruise runs from 8:30 to 11:30 pm. The party concludes at midnight. The Victoria Day Weekend Boat Party is held on the Burrard Queen, which has indoor and outdoor decks to explore. There are two DJs onboard, along with dance floors and a premium bar.
Tickets for the floating night club-style event start at $25 in 2022. For more information, see our Vancouver Boat Parties article.
Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair
Last year and the year before the Cloverdale Rodeo was cancelled because of health concerns regarding COVID-19. It looks like it has been cancelled again in 2022.
In years when it does occur, at the rodeo there are bucking broncos, barrel races, bull riding competitions and more. At the fair there is also country music, midway rides and every kind of farm animal you can think of. Kids love it, as do young adults and folks of all ages!
Fireworks displays are usually on the Friday starting at around 9:30 pm. The parade takes place on Saturday from 10:00 am until noon. 2023 details are to be confirmed.
Check out the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair for more information.
Go Fest at Whistler
All long weekend, most years, there are usually plenty of outdoor activities at Whistler‘s Go Fest which is an outdoor festival celebrating the end of winter and the start of the summer season.
In 2020 the event was cancelled thanks to COVID-19. The 2021 edition took place online with different seminars and virtual activities like yoga, educational presentations and arts and crafts. 2022 details are to be confirmed (although there is a good chance it won’t be happening).
In years when Whistler Go Fest takes place in person, at the resort there are concerts, films, art displays, a golf tournament, bike races and a wide range of outdoor sport activities to both watch and participate in. Free headliner concerts in recent years have included performances by 54-40 and Dear Rouge. Entertainment in future years will be comparable.
Click Whistler Go Fest for more information.
Royal Victorian Party at Stewart Farm
Stewart Farm is a historic site at Elgin Heritage Park in Surrey. On either the Saturday or Sunday of the long weekend the place usually celebrates Victoria day with a Royal Victorian Party. The event features a variety of dance performances, old-fashioned ice cream making, and a visit by the Queen (or at least someone pretending to be her).
The event usually takes place on the Sunday. In 2020, however, the farm was completely closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Hopefully the event can happen in 2022, although exact details are to be confirmed.
In years when you can attend the event, consider also going down the road a ways and visiting the nearby seaside resort town of White Rock while in the area. You can also go for a stroll along the nearby Crescent Beach.
For more information on the old-fashioned celebrations at Stewart Farm, check out Royal Victorian Party. And feel free to come dressed up in your favourite royalty costume – you probably won’t be the only one.
Victoria Day at Fort Langley
Fort Langley is a great place to take the family any time of the year, but especially when they have special events like their Victoria Day celebrations on the holiday Monday.
Festivities in Langley include a wonderful parade, community events in the park and activities at the historic fort. The event got cancelled a couple of years ago and we believe it was held virtually in 2021.
In 2022, the Fort Langley May Day event happens on May 23. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the event. The parade begins at 11:00 am and festivities continue at the park from 12:00 to 4:00 pm.
Check out Fort Langley May Long Weekend for more details.
Royal Canadian Circus
The Royal Canadian Family Circus is in the Lower Mainland over the May Long Weekend most years, although not in 2020 or 2021. Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the circus’ 2020 North American tour was completely cancelled. Its 2021 shows in the Lower Mainland were also cancelled.
The circus is in both Surrey and Richmond in 2022, but not until late June and early July. Its dates for Surrey are June 23 to 26. Its shows in Richmond run from June 30 to July 3.
When in town, the circus shows are highly recommended, especially for families! There are no exotic animals (which is great), but there are numerous world-class acts.
Some of the performers from the Royal Canadian International Circus’ show a few years ago appeared in the Hugh Jackman film “The Greatest Showman.” The 2019 performer lineup was equally impressive, as will be the show the next time the circus is in town.
Tickets for the circus start at just $25 (but see below for information on how to save).
TIP #1: If you use the promo code VansBestPlaces when purchasing General Admission tickets for the circus you get 2-for-1 pricing! (Note: The promo code is good for General Admission, not VIP and Ringside seats.)
TIP #2: Richmond isn’t the only Lower Mainland stop for the circus most years. The Royal Canadian Family Circus is also in Surrey in 2022.
For more great activities in the month of May, check out Vancouver’s Best Places’ May Calendar.
And for even more ideas on things to do during the May long weekend, check out Vancouver’s Best Places’ in Parks and Nature. It’s spring time, so get out and enjoy Vancouver’s beautiful outdoors!
Other articles that may be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver Festivals & Events
- What’s Happening This Weekend
- Mother’s Day in Vancouver
- Father’s Day in Vancouver
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Best Places for Children
To learn about what’s happening on the May Long Weekend in BC’s capital city, see the website VictoriasBestPlaces.com.