Victoria Day in 2023 is on Monday, May 22nd. There is a lot to do in the Lower Mainland that weekend including a rodeo, car show and parades.
Highlights of the holiday weekend this year include the Royal Canadian International Circus, Vancouver All British Field Meet, a Victoria Day Boat Party and various other events.
What to do during the Victoria Day Long Weekend in 2023
Top May Long Weekend activities in the Lower Mainland most years include the Cloverdale Rodeo in Surrey and the Vancouver All British Field Meet car show at VanDusen Garden. Both of these events are happening in 2023, as is Fort Langley May Days. In past years there has also been the Royal Victorian Party at Stewart Farm and the GoFest Outdoor Festival at Whistler. Whether those last two events happen again this year is to be determined.
Other things to do on the long weekend include outdoor adventure games with Vancouver Mysteries, walking tours with Forbidden Vancouver, and ropes course adventures with WildPlay in Maple Ridge. Exploring Lower Mainland Parks and Nature and hanging out at any of Vancouver’s Best Beaches are also popular activities. Many of the Lower Mainland’s Outdoor Swimming Pools also open for the season just in time for the holiday.
Touring attractions that are in town on the holiday weekend this year include Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. in Burnaby, Jurassic Quest in Abbotsford and the Royal Canadian International Circus in Richmond.
2-FOR1 CIRCUS TICKETS!
The Royal Canadian International Circus is in Surrey, Vancouver and Richmond this year. It’s at Guildford Town Centre from May 4th to 7th, at Concord Pacific Place from May 11th to 14th, and at Lansdowne Centre on May 18th to 22nd. It’s a fabulous circus, and if you use the promo code VANSBESTPLACES when buying your tickets online you can get 2-for-1 pricing for general admission.
Vancouver All British Field Meet
Hundreds of classic British cars are on display at VanDusen Garden on the May Long Weekend in 2023. This year, the All British Field Meet car show happens on Saturday, May 20th.
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, 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 2023 the company hosts a Victoria Day Weekend Boat Party on Saturday, May 20th.
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 enjoy. The event also features dance floors, DJ music and a premium bar.
Tickets for the floating night club-style event start at $25 (if you buy them early enough) in 2023. For more information, see our Vancouver Boat Parties article.
Royal Canadian Circus
The Royal Canadian Family Circus is in the Lower Mainland over the May Long Weekend. It didn’t happen at all in 2020 or 2021, however, and last year the circus was in town in June instead of in May. The circus returns to Metro Vancouver in May this year, with shows in Surrey, Vancouver and Richmond between May 4th and Victoria Day.
This year the circus is at Lansdowne Mall in Richmond on the holiday weekend, from the Thursday to Monday of May 18th to 22nd. It’s also in two other communities earlier in the month. The circus is at Guildford Town Centre in Surrey from May 4th until May 7th and at Concord Pacific Place in Vancouver from May 11th to 14th (which includes the Mother’s Day weekend).
The circus shows are highly recommended, especially for families! There are no exotic animals (which is great), but there are numerous world-class acts. Performers in 2023 include both the African Bone Breakers and Guerrero High Wire Act from America’s Got Talent.
Tickets for the circus start at just $35. If you use the promo code VansBestPlaces when purchasing General Admission tickets for the circus, however, you get 2-for-1 pricing! (Note: The promo code is good for General Admission, not VIP and Ringside seats.)
For more information see our article about the Royal Canadian Circus or visit royalcanadiancircus.ca.
Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair
The Cloverdale Rodeo hasn’t happened since 2019, but it’s back again in 2023! This year it runs from Friday, May 19th, until Monday, May 22nd.
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 the Saturday from 10:00 am until noon. Rodeo events and the amusement rides happen all weekend.
Check out our Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair article for more information.
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 parade, community events in the park and activities at the historic fort. After not happening in its usual format for a couple of years, the Fort Langley May Day event was back in 2022. In 2023 the event celebrates its 101st anniversary. 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.
A major dinosaur exhibition sets up at the Tradex Centre in Abbotsford from the Friday until the Monday of the long weekend in 2023. It’s also at the Vancouver Convention Centre the week before (from May 12th to 14th).
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 our article about Jurassic Quest.
Go Fest at Whistler
All long weekend most years, there are usually lots of activities at Whistler‘s Go Fest. It’s 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. The festival didn’t happen at all in 2022 and details about the event in 2023 are to be confirmed. It might be happening, or it might not be.
In years when Whistler Go Fest does take place, 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 likely 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. In years when it happens, 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 Royal Victoria Party usually takes place on the Sunday. Hopefully the event can happen in 2023. Exact details, however, 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 our Royal Victorian Party article. And feel free to come dressed up in your favourite royalty costume – you probably won’t be the only one.
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.
For more great activities in the month of May, check out Vancouver’s Best Places’ May Calendar.
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.