Fort Langley’s historic May Day festivities remain relatively unchanged

The history of May Day parades in Fort Langley stretches pretty far back. This Monday, May 19, the 92nd parade will wind its way through the village streets.

The celebration is almost a century old – the Second World War interrupted things. It remains steeped in tradition, while changing and growing with the community.

From the pancake breakfast to the parade to Maypole dancing, the day is filled with events from morning to the late afternoon.

“It’s a really, really big deal,” said Lynda Davidson, president of the Fort Langley Lions Club, which has taken on organizing duties for the last several years. “This year we started planning in December.”

The day begins with pancakes at the Lion’s hall at 23022 88th Ave., where parade participants will also be registering the numerous entries.

“As of right now, we have 64,” Wendy Canessa, the parade organizer, said mid-week.

The number of floats has been increasing slowly over the past few years, mostly hovering between 60 and 65 entries.

“For just a little parade that we organize, we do pretty good,” Canessa said.

Starting at 11 a.m., the parade will wind through the community and head into Fort Langley Community Park. Once there, this year’s May Queens and Royal Party will be piped in.

Maypole dancing and live entertainment will continue until 4 p.m., and in case anyone was still hungry after scarfing down the Lions pancakes, there will be a number of food options on site.

“We also do the famous barbecue chicken in the park,” said Davidson.

One of the new events this year will be a draw for children who watched the parade.

Maps handed out to viewers along the route will include a questionnaire on the back. Children can fill it out and have it dropped off at the park, and there will be a draw for a kids basket.

The whole event comes with free parking, including some on the orchard lawn near the Fort Langley National Historic Site.

May Day itinerary

Monday, May 19

8:30-10 a.m. – Pancake breakfast

8-10 a.m. – parade registration

11 a.m. – Parade

Noon – Arrival of May Queen and party

           Maypole Dancing

1-4 p.m. – Rides for kids, mini golf, food vendors, retail vendors, Lions barbecue

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