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Victoria Day Weekend in Victoria

Victoria Day Parade

One of the best places to spend Victoria Day and the May long weekend is in Victoria where the city celebrates with a festival and various other activities.

In 2024 Victoria Day is on Monday, May 20th. The annual parade takes place this year, along with other activities elsewhere in the region.

To learn about the parade see our article about the Victoria Day Parade or visit the Greater Victoria Festival Society‘s website. To learn about other activities on the weekend as well, continue reading.


Victoria and the May Long Weekend

Victoria Day is a statutory holiday that celebrates the birthday of Queen Victoria who lived from 1819 to 1901. It’s this queen after whom the City of Victoria was named. The occasion is celebrated all across Canada, but especially in British Columbia’s capital city, on the Monday before May 25th each year.

A lot usually happens in downtown Victoria and the Inner Harbour on the May long weekend. Some of the best events that take place most years include the following:

  • Victoria Day Parade – a large parade featuring over 100 floats, with the procession beginning at Mayfair Mall and continuing down Douglas Street. (The 124th parade takes place on May 20th in 2024.)
  • Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival – a family-friendly Scottish festival that happens at Topaz Park. (May 18th and 19th in 2024.)
  • Luxton Spring Fair – a fair with fun carnival rides, food trucks and more in Langford on the May long weekend. (2024 dates to be confirmed.)


Band at Parliament Buildings
Bands outside the Parliament Buildings


Victoria Day Performances

Free performances take place in downtown Victoria on the Saturday and Sunday of the May long weekend most years. On those two days there is usually live music outside the BC Legislature. Entertainment details for 2024 are to be confirmed.

Lots of marching bands come to Victoria for the parade as well. They travel from all around BC and even from the United States. In addition to playing and marching in the parade, many of them normally perform for free on the Saturday and Sunday.

On the holiday Monday a couple of years ago, there was more live entertainment at Centennial Square near Victoria’s City Hall after the parade. There were free activities and performances in the square. 2024 details are to be confirmed.


Victoria Day in Front of City Hall
City Hall on Victoria Day


The Victoria Day Parade

Victoria Day Parade, held in BC’s capital, Victoria, is one of the biggest and longest parades in Canada. Not many parades go on for a full three hours!

The parade takes place on the holiday Monday. It starts at 9:00 am outside Mayfair Mall around 3147 Douglas Street. The floats, bands and other parade entries usually meet and set up in the mall’s parking lot. From there the procession makes its way down Douglas Street all the way to Courtney Street.

Tens of thousands of people line the street to see the parade. There are lots of floats, marching bands, clowns, VIPs in cars, military vehicles, emergency vehicles, collectible cars and other entries by local businesses and community groups.

To learn more about the parade, see our article about the Victoria Day Parade or visit the Greater Victoria Festival Society‘s website.


Victoria's Victoria Day Parade
The Victoria Day Parade


Victoria Day Parade Marching Bands

To get an idea about what the Victoria Day Parade looks like, and the wide variety of marching bands that participate, check out the following video.

The video shows scenes of the parade from a couple of years before COVID-19. The focus of the video is on the bands. There are lots of floats, emergency vehicles, clowns and even boats sometimes too! They just aren’t included in the video.

So many marching bands participate in the parade. Many are school bands, some of which come up on tour from the United States. There are also military bands, bands with drums and bands with bagpipes. They all make the parade a wonderful experience, and many of them perform around downtown Victoria at other times on the weekend too.

To learn more about what happens on Victoria Day, and for a video that shows more of the parade, see our article about the Victoria Day Parade.



Other Information

For a list of other events in the city at other times of the year, see the Victoria Festivals & Events Calendar.

Other articles that might be of interest include the following:

To learn about what’s happening on the May long weekend in the Lower Mainland, see the Vancouversbestplaces.com website.