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Dignitaries to attend May Day in New Westminster on Saturday

You're invited to join dignitaries and community members at this Saturday's May Day in Queen's Park
Photos: New Westminster celebrates 148 years of May Day _4
May Day 2022 includes the crowning of the May Queen and folk and maypole dances but this year's event is on a Saturday instead of a school day.

Qayqayt First Nation Chief Rhonda Larrabee and B.C. Lt.-Gov.  Janet Austin are among the dignitaries who are set to attend this weekend’s May Day festivities in New West.

Nikki Binns, president of the New Westminster May Day Community Association, reports that numerous dignitaries have confirmed plans to attend May Day 2022, which is taking place on Saturday, May 28 at 3:30 p.m. in Queen’s Park Stadium.

“As our city recovers from COVID, we are extremely pleased that the community has come together to keep New Westminster’s cherished May Day alive,” association vice-president Rocky Suffron said in a news release. “We encourage everyone in the Royal City and beyond to be on hand for this very special event.”

Other attendees will include Senator Yonah Martin, New Westminster-Burnaby MP Peter Julian and New Westminster MLA Jennifer Whiteside. Coun. Nadine Nakagawa will be attending on behalf of the City of New Westminster.

“We are thrilled that so many of our community leaders will be on hand to honour our May Queen Suite and the young children who have worked so hard on their May Day dances,” Binns said. “Our aim is to celebrate New Westminster’s unique heritage, as we are inspired by the diversity, talent and dedication of our community leaders of tomorrow.”

This year marks the return of May Day celebrations to Queen’s Park for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. It’s also the first full-fledged event organized by the New Westminster May Day Community Association. (The school district decided it would no longer be involved in organizing the event after 2020.)

May Day 2022 will include the crowning of Manha Rishard as New Westminster’s 152nd May Queen and traditional maypole and folk dancing.

Other dignitaries and special guests expected to be on hand for the festivities include: 2017 Hyack Festival artistic director David H. Lyle; Qayqayt leader Stacey Ferguson; acting fire Chief Erin Williams; Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart; Miss New Westminster Makena Thomas and the 2022 Hyack Ambassador team; and Karen Baker-MacGrotty, retired honorary colonel of The New Westminster Regiment.

New Westminster’s first May Day event was held in 1870.

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