Victoria Day (Monday May 23 this year) is a statutory holiday in Canada, except for the Atlantic Provinces (why not the Atlantic provinces? I don't really know!)
This coming long weekend (May 22/23) is a lasting reminder of our colonial history. It falls on the weekend before Memorial Day in the United States.
Victoria Day is officially the Sovereign's birthday. It dates back to 1845 with Queen Victoria's birthday. After the Queen died, Parliament established May 23 or 24, as a legal holiday.
Since 1952 the celebration of Victoria has made the event the first long weekend to start the summer season. So, naturally we're all hoping for sunny weather, especially after our cool spring.
The city of Victoria celebrates with many events, starting with the Island Farms Victoria Day Parade at 9:00 a.m. from Mayfair Mall and continuing to the downtown core.
Over 120,000 spectators watch the parade, which takes at least 3 hours to pass by.
This year there will be 145 bands and floats, including 21 visiting American high school and college bands, some of which perform and entertain in front of our Legislature on Sunday May 22 from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
It's always a fun day, with young and old alike joining in the celebration.
Photos courtesy of Gary Woodburn.