May Day Still Delightful

Langley Advance - Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dear Editor,

Every Victoria Day for the past 85 years, the May Day parade has delighted audiences.

Other communities may claim older parades, but the Fort Langley event has the longest continuous record.

Yes, there have been changes and fluctuations over the years, with respect to parade entry participation, audience attendance, after parade activities, number of May Pole dancers, variations to the route and time, not to mention the weather. But, somehow, each year the festivities have come together as a major celebration.

The experienced parade watchers know the best time to arrive and pick their viewing spots, prepared for the weather with sunscreen and/or umbrellas, chairs, cushions, and snacks. The first-time watchers quickly make mental notes for next year.

The show begins and for a couple of hours, we're all kids again. After the parade we get to mingle with the parade participants and enjoy the May Pole dancing, the Lions' Chicken barbecue and the carnival atmosphere.

While the crowds are cheering for their parade favourites and enjoying the show, the behind-the-scenes volunteers toil away.

Some of those volunteers are scrambling to accommodate late parade entries; some are turning the racks of chickens over the smoking charcoal; some are untangling the May Pole ribbons; and others are stationed at outlying traffic barricades receiving the wrath of short-tempered motorists...