It’s one of the most wonderful times of the year!
That’s right, the Island Farms Victoria Day Parade is back for its 121st year, and we couldn’t be more excited!
It’s promised to be another fun-filled and exciting event thanks to the Greater Victoria Festival Society, and here are 7 things you’ll want to know before it happens:
1. When and where will the parade be?
The party begins at 9 a.m. on Monday, May 20th! The parade will start at Douglas and Finlayson, by Mayfair Mall, and continue down Douglas Street, finishing at Courtney Street.
2. Road closures
It’s always a good idea to get downtown on parade days – gotta secure that perfect spot! They will begin closing streets off to traffic at 7 a.m.. Here’s the full road closure schedule:
- Douglas at Tolmie, Blanshard at Finlayson, Burnside Road East at Finlayson, Burnside Road at Douglas will be closed at 7 a.m. until parade is over at around noon.
- Douglas, from Burnside to Courtney will be closed around 7:30 a.m. until parade is over at around noon.
3. Entertainment before the big day
As if we weren’t already excited enough, there’s a lead-up of fun events prior to Victoria Day itself! The long weekend of the parade will feature an array of concerts and performances at the Parliament Building from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 18th and 10 a.m. to 6.pm. on Sunday, May 19th. Plus, don’t miss out on the Parade of Bands and 5th annual Drum Battle on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
4. There’s a new theme for each year
Though it’s hard to top last year’s Blast from the Past theme, this year it’s a whole new fashionable ball game!
This year’s Victoria Day parade is themed the ‘Denim and Diamonds’, so break out your be-dazzler and best jeans, and get glitzy to celebrate this momentous occasion!
5. All your favourite floats, plus more!
Do you have a favourite float you look forward to seeing each year at the Victoria Day Parade?
There’s always a little something for everyone, from school marching bands to emergency vehicles, local businesses to timeless entertainers, and much more!
6. There’s a run prior to the parade this year!
This year, they’re also introducing the Victoria Day Douglas Mile – a fun family run down Douglas Street starting at Summit and Douglas to the finish line at City Hall before the Island Farms Victoria Day Parade starts. There are two waves of participants, the High Performance Wave which will start at 8:55 a.m. and the main start which will start right after – the parade itself still begins at 9 a.m. sharp.
7. The party doesn’t stop once the parade does!
Join the post-parade masses for ‘Celebration Square’ in Centennial Square after the parade finishes, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There will be soccer darts, bouncy castles, great food, local entertainment and crafts!
8. How you can prepare for the celebrations
Once you nab that perfect parade-viewing spot, you’re not going to want to leave!
Thankfully, the weather is forecast tells us it’s going to be a mild and sunny, with a high of 14°C. But you never know, especially with Victoria – that could change in a heartbeat!
It’s always a good idea to be prepared, so remember to pack sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and rain gear, just in case. You should also plan to bring chairs and blankets for yourself and the family!
9. In case you can’t make it down to the parade…
Join our very own Nicole Evans Bentham and her co-host Jonathan Knox as they take you through the revelry of the big day.
Our broadcast will utilize multiple high definition cameras to bring you a crystal clear view of the downtown core as it buzzes with excitement. We’ll begin streaming once the parade reaches our broadcast location across from city hall – so you won’t miss a thing!
You’ll be able to watch the action live as it happens – even if you can’t be there in person! – thanks to our presenting sponsor Fairway Markets, as well as Sitka Law Group, Five Star Whale Watching and Mayfair Shopping Centre.
We’re so ready!
- When: Monday, May 20th – start time is 9 a.m.
- Where: The parade begins at Mayfair Mall and continues along Douglas Street, finishing at the intersection of Douglas and Courtney Streets