One of the best places to spend Victoria Day and the May Long Weekend is in Victoria where the city celebrates with a parade and various other festivities.
In 2018 Victoria Day is on Monday, May 20th. In 2019 it’ll be on Monday, May 19th.
Victoria and the May Long Weekend
Victoria Day is a national holiday that celebrates the birthday of Queen Victoria who lived from 1819 to 1901 and after whom the City of Victoria was named. The occasion is celebrated across Canada, but especially in British Columbia’s capital city, on the Monday before May 25th each year.
A lot happens in Victoria on the May Long Weekend. There is the Victoria Day Parade on the holiday Monday, plus various other festivities, including in and around the Inner Harbour all weekend.
Although unrelated to the birthday theme of the city’s namesake, the Victoria Day Long Week is also when the Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival happens at Topaz Park and when the Luxton Fair takes place in Langford.
The Victoria Day Parade
On the holiday Monday tens of thousands of people watch the more than 100 floats, marching bands and other entries in the Victoria Day Parade each year.
The procession starts at 9 am at Mayfair Mall and goes down Douglas Street. It finishes some two dozen blocks down the road at around noon at the corner of Humboldt Street and Douglas. All along the 3 km route crowds line the street.
At 3 hours in duration, the Victoria Day parade is one of the largest parades in Canada. It’s not the fastest-paced parade, and the entries are sometimes fairly widely spaced-out (which probably helps it run for the full 3 hours). It’s a very good parade though, and lots of fun.
In the parade expect to see numerous marching bands, decorated floats, military vehicles, fire trucks, dignitaries waving from cars, Shriners in go-karts and people in costume handing out candy.
For more information about the Victoria Day Parade, check out the Greater Victoria Festival Society website.
For a list of other events in the city at other times of the year, see the Victoria Festivals & Events Calendar.