Victoria Day Parade

The Thrifty Foods Victoria Day Parade is a large annual event in Victoria. It features a variety of floats, bands and more on the May Long Weekend.

The 2022 parade was presented by CHEK TV and the event celebrated its 122nd year on May 23rd. It’s an impressive event, and it’s free to attend!


Victoria's Victoria Day Parade


Victoria Day Parade in Victoria

The City of Victoria commemorates Victoria Day with celebrations in honour of Queen Victoria who reigned in England from 1837 until 1901. Her birthday was on May 24th. Victoria Day itself takes place in BC on the Monday prior to May 25th each year.

In 2022 the public holiday is on Monday, May 23rd. Although there wasn’t a lot to do in the last two years because of COVID-19, a number of special events returned on 2022’s Victoria Day Weekend including the Victoria Day Parade.

In addition to the parade, there were also activities in front of the Legislative Building and at Centennial Square (beside Victoria City Hall). These included lots of bands and family-friendly entertainment.

The annual parade in British Columbia’s capital is organized by the Greater Victoria Festival Society and presented by CHEK TV and Thrifty Foods. In normal years, the event attracts tens of thousands of people. It features over 100 decorated floats as well as marching bands, military vehicles, fire trucks, clowns and other entries.


Float in Victoria Day Parade
Victoria Day Parade on Douglas Street


2022 Victoria Day Parade

The 122nd Victoria Day Parade was going to take place in 2020. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the event was cancelled. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen in 2021 either.

The parade returned in its usual grand-scale format on May 23rd, 2022. The event honoured all of the frontline employees and healthcare workers who have been busy during the pandemic. The same as in pre-pandemic times, a diverse set of floats, vehicles and musicians came together to put on an entertaining event. Hundreds of people participated and tens of thousands watched!

In 2022 the procession started at Mayfair Mall and went down Douglas Street. It finished some two dozen blocks down the road at the corner of Humboldt Street and Douglas. As usual, crowds packed the streets of the 3-kilometre route.

The same as it has done in previous years (pre-pandemic), the parade began at 9:00 am and concluded at around noon. The 3-hour duration makes this particular Victoria Day parade one of the largest parades in Canada. It’s an impressive and fun parade!

After the parade finished there were live music performances, food trucks and artisan vendors in Centennial Square until 5:00 pm. This was a fun after-party for the main parade.


Marching Band in Victoria


Victoria Day Parade

To give you a really good idea of what to expect at the Victoria Day Parade, check out the video below.

The following video contains scenes of the parade from a few years ago (prior to COVID-19). As you’ll see, the parade features lots of marching bands as well as floats and people in costume. Although not shown in the video, there are also military vehicles, fire trucks, vintage automobiles, big trucks and VIP dignitaries waving to the crowd in convertibles and other fancy cars.

The video begins with a scene of the parade on Douglas Street in front of the Victoria Public Market (in the old Hudson’s Bay building). The walking dinosaur you’ll see is in front of City Hall a few blocks further down. Other landmark buildings you’ll see in the video are the Bay Centre Shopping Centre, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and the Empress Hotel.



Other Victoria Day Activities

The parade isn’t the only thing that happens on the May Long Weekend in Victoria. On the Saturday, Sunday and Monday of May 21st to 23rd in 2022 there is also live entertainment between noon and 5:00 pm outside the Parliament Buildings. To learn more about these other activities see our article about the Victoria Day Weekend.


Other Information

For more information about the parade, visit the Greater Victoria Festival Society website.

Other articles that might be of interest include the following:

Other events hosted by the Greater Victoria Festival Society include the following: