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May Day returns to Queen’s Park in New West on Saturday

Maypole and folk dances, crowning of New Westminster’s 154th May Queen all part of the fun of this weekend’s May Day celebration.
Like the 2023 May Day, the New Westminster May Day Community Association is hosting this year's event, which includes the crowning of New Westminster's 154th May Queen.

Emilie Loi will be crowned as New Westminster’s 154th May Queen at this weekend’s May Day celebration.

The Lord Kelvin Elementary School student was selected as May Queen in a random draw of students who had put their names forward for the May Queen Suite. Arjun Prushothama, a Queensborough Middle School student, is the Royal Knight Consort.

In addition to Emilie and Arjun, the 13 members of the 2024 New Westminster May Queen Suite include: 1st Maid of Honour – Beatrice Dionisio; 2nd Maid of Honour – Isabella Lopez; Medal Bearer – Zophia Nixdorf; Register Bearer – Raiha Rishard; 1st Flower Girl Sophia Stevens; 2nd Flower Girl – Shaughnessy MacLean; 3rd Flower Girl – Clair Lochrie; 4th Flower Girl – Abrie Sule; 5th Flower Girl – Isabella Ladouceur; and 6th Flower Girl – Arusyak Gharibyan.

“We are very excited for all the amazing children who are part of New Westminster’s 154th Royal Suite,” said Lorraine Brett, president of the New Westminster May Day Community Association.

The associate stated it received entries from across New Westminster for the draw, which was open to local students in grades 5 and 6.

New Westminster’s 154th May Day event is on Saturday, May 25 at 3:30 p.m. in Queen’s Park Stadium, with doors opening at 3 p.m. The event will include: maypole and folk dances; the crowning of the May Queen; speeches by kids in the Royal Suite; performances by a number of cultural groups; opening remarks from local dignitaries; the singing of O Canada and God Save the King; and more.

According to the association, New Westminster’s May Day, dating back to 1870, is the longest continuously observed May Day in the British Commonwealth and possibly the world.

For the past few years, the association – not the school district – has organized and hosted the May Day event. It’s now held on the same Saturday as the Hyack Parade.

“The association’s mission is to build community through shared experience, a sense of place, and meaningful connections to the unique cultural heritage of New Westminster,” said the association’s news release. “The association’s vision is for a May Day that is a vibrant, fun and exciting celebration for all ages and one that embraces inclusivity, diversity, and reconciliation.”