Rain or shine, young people from the Fort Langley area will be holding fast to their ribbons as they do the May pole dance Monday.
The dance is a tradition at May Day activities in Fort Langley.
This year two schools are signed up to take part in the dancing on Monday, May 21.
The reason behind the day off work and school in late May is becoming obscured. Fewer people know that the holiday is to honour the birthday of Queen Victoria (1819-1901).
The maypole dancing starts around 12:30 p.m. This year marks the 96th annual celebration of Victoria Day in this community.
“We’re hoping to hit 100,” said Wendy Canessa, on the Fort Langley May Day organizing committee.
May Day starts with a pancake breakfast, served up from 8 to 10:30 a.m. at the Lions Clubhouse, 88th Avenue just off Glover Road.
“We’ll probably go through two and a half to three 50 lb. bags of pancake mix,” Canessa said.
The breakfast is a fundraiser for the Fort Langley Lions Club which coordinates May Day festivities.
The Lions hall is also where entrants will go to check in for the parade. Floats and groups wanting to take part must register in advance, then check in on parade morning.
Organizers sent out parade information in January. But “we invariably get one or two that show up [that day],” she noted.
They are added to the end of the parade line up which is decided a few days before the big event. The line up is emailed to registered entrants in advance.
11 a.m. Monday
It’s parade time. The staging area is on Church Street between Francis and Mavis Avenue. The route goes from Mavis Avenue to Glover Road, then south from Glover to 88th Avenue and up 88th to Trattle Street. The procession moves up Trattle.
Volunteers are out before the event putting up no parking signs along the route. Public parking is available at the Fort Langley National Historic Site orchard, behind the Lions hall on 88th Avenue and on side streets.
The limited parking near Fort Langley Community Park is reserved for vendors.
In the park
There’s activities in the park from noon to 4 p.m.
“We average between 1,500 and 2,000 people,” she said about the park attendance.
Parks Canada will spotlight its camping, Langley Volunteers will be there, as will booths offering information about water conservation, businesses, mosquito management, and recycling.
Vendors will have goods such as hats, jewelry, henna tattos, leathercraft, pictures, sunglasses, and shirts. There’s also rides and games including mini golf, inflatables, a photo booth, and a small car show.
Musician Bruce Coghlan performs from 1 to 4 p.m.
After the Lions cook up breakfast, they get going on their barbecue chicken for lunchtime.
“It’s generally sold out shortly after 2,” Canessa noted.
There will also be smokies, fries, kettle corn, popcorn, lemonade, mini donuts, beverages and ice cream in the park.
Fort Langley May Day is organized by a committee of six, and they could use some help.
“We’re always looking for volunteers,” Canessa said.
Duties could include helping with traffic control at the parade. All the side streets along the parade route must be blocked.
People can also help at the park events, particularly with tidying up the garbage.
For more information on any of the events in Fort Langley on May 21 or to volunteer, contact email@example.com.