Technically, Summer officially arrives on June 21, but the Victoria Day long weekend is often pegged as the unofficial ‘start of summer’. While some people will head out on the boat, others will be in town hanging out on the patio or enjoying local events. If you are out and about for the May Long Weekend, below is a list of what’s going on around Sidney and Victoria.
Speaking of the start of summer, the Van Isle Marina Fuel Dock will be transitioning to our summer hours on Friday, May 19. This means they will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for all your fueling, marine store and pump out needs!
Thursday, May 18: Although the long weekend doesn’t start until the end of the day on Friday, May 19 we figured that opening day of the Sidney Street Market was worth mentioning. Every Thursday night from May until August, Sidney’s main street, Beacon Avenue, is closed to traffic and transformed into one of the most spectacular, festive street markets in British Columbia. With over 150 vendors offering everything from locally grown produce, handmade jewelry by local artisans, one of a kind clothing, toys, flowers, handmade soaps, home-made bread, jams, fudge and so much more; there is something for everyone in family!
Friday, May 19: Bring the family for a fun-filled weekend at the Luxton Spring Fair. Enjoy antique farm equipment, a heritage museum, VI Blacksmith, vendor booths, and West Coast Amusements Carnival Midway Rides! The fair starts up on Friday from 3 pm – 11 pm at the Luxton Fairgrounds.
Saturday, May 20: The Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival happens every year at Topaz Park from May 20 to May 22. Events occur for a full week prior to the Games & Celtic Festival to enable a 10 day celebration of Scottish and Celtic arts, music and sport kicking off with the Tartan Parade through downtown Victoria the Saturday prior to the Games weekend and including the Kilted Golf Tournament, Tilted Kilt Pub crawl and Torchlight Clan ceremony.
Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 36, Sidney is celebrating the arrival if it’s new Fast Response Rescue Craft the Jack Simpson 111 in conjunction with National Boating Safety week. They are hosting an open house with the new vessel on display and open for tours and information from 10 am – 6 pm. Public is welcome and encouraged to come to Port of Sidney and see the vessel and meet the local volunteers that are highly trained and respond to marine emergencies 365 days a year and 24 hours a day from their base here in Sidney with a 15 minute response time. Drinks and light snacks available. Have your picture taken on board. Join the Marine Search and Rescue Team, interested and qualified individuals can speak directly to their Recruiting Director on site. Sunday, May 21: Victoria’s Opening Day Sailpast with approximately 50 boats, decorated in traditional marine dress or other theme expected to participate in the 43rd Annual Victoria Inner Harbour Boat Parade on Sunday May 21.
The boats will parade past Laurel Point at 1 pm and along the waterfront to the host boat moored at the causeway docks, directly in from of the Empress Hotel. There the participants will take a “salute” and will be judged by Guests onboard the Host Boat. The boats then continue past Ship Point.
Monday, May 22: Free and open to the public, the Victoria Day Block Party (on Humboldt Street, between Government and Douglas) kicks off at 1 pm and will feature several food vendors, musical performances, and family-friendly activities.
All activities and admission to the museum will be by donation, with proceeds going to support the Maritime Museum of BC’s outreach programs for schools and community groups.