114 years after the reign of Queen Victoria ended, marking her birthday still continues to be one of the most anticipated Canadian holidays of the year. This likely has much to do with the Victoria Day long weekend being largely considered as the unofficial ‘start to summer’.
Speaking of the start of summer, the Van Isle Marina Fuel Dock will be transitioning to our summer hours on Friday, May 20th. This means they will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for all your fueling, marine store and pump out needs!
Here are a few things to do for the Victoria Day long weekend:
Thursday, May 19th: Although the long weekend doesn’t technically start until the end of the day on Friday, May 20 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 jewellery 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 20th: The 3rd Annual Victoria International Kite Festival begins at Clover Point, just minutes from downtown Victoria. This year the free-to-attend weekend festival presents a multicultural community celebration with fun for the whole family. Attendees will experience an eclectic mix of sights, sounds and tastes from around the globe and will have the opportunity to see some of the world’s top professional kite fliers.
Saturday, May 21st: The Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival happens every year at Topaz Park from May 21st to 23rd. 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.
Sunday, May 22nd: The Victoria Public Market downtown invites you to the Spot Prawn Festival, a free event celebrating the BC Spot Prawn Season! The festival will feature Live Spot Prawns available for purchase from Cowichan Bay Seafood, Chef Demonstrations and samples throughout the afternoon in the Community Kitchen, Fresh-off-the-boat BC Spot Prawns on menus of various vendors throughout the Market, local wineries sampling wines that pair well with BC Spot Prawns, live local musicians, kids activities, and local artisans and vendors offering handcrafted items.
Monday, May 23rd: The Island Farms Victoria Day Parade is the largest parade of the year in Victoria! Previous years parades have featured approximately 150 parade entries – including Canadian and American marching bands, musical floats, cultural entries and festive clowns – and attracted tens of thousands of attendees. The parade begins at 9 a.m. on Victoria Day every year and lasts for approximately three hours. The route begins at Mayfair Shopping Centre and winds its way along Douglas Street, before ending at Humboldt Street.