Victoria Day Long Weekend…how we love saying it! For most of Canada it signifies the unofficial official beginning of the summer season. Vancouver is no exception. For us here on the lower mainland it means that all of the cities Water-parks, Public Beaches and Swimming pools will open to the public, allowing the cities lifeguards and Park Rangers to come out from their winter slumber. We dust off our beach mats, tuck away the rain gear and prepare for warmer brighter weather. This Victoria Day long weekend offers a host of diverse events sure to please the young and old alike.

Public Beaches to Open – time to get out the sunscreen!

All of the city’s public beaches will re-open this weekend.  English Bay – or First Beach as it is called, is a long time summer destination for locals and visitors alike. There will be lifeguards on duty for those brave enough to enter the still chilly spring waters and even a floating raft and slide to enhance your experience. If getting wet isn’t in your forecast the area offers an array of attractions from shopping in the Davie Village, to a beach side Cactus Club for summer cocktail sampling. Kayak rentals, and two sand volleyball courts round out the attractions. If being laid back is more your thing, fire up the Hibachi, bring a blanket and a Frisbee and your day is made. There is public parking at Sunset Beach (just down the road) at the bottom of Bute St and Pacific Blvd as well as street parking. Easy access via public transit is available if you want to avoid the crowded streets via the 6 Davie or C23 from downtown all day and night. Check on-line for more beaches and in your area, the Vancouver Parks Board website is a great place to start.

More info at:

Release the Cowboy in you! YEE-HA!

The Cloverdale Rodeo has been held on the Victoria Day Long Weekend for 126 years. Families and friends from near and far kick off their summer with this weekend long event. For 2014, the Cloverdale Invitational Rodeo will feature Roughstock Rodeo Events (Bareback, Saddle Bronc & Bull Riding) Ladies Barrel Racing and the ever popular Mutton Bustin.  Live music takes the stage in the Longhorn Saloon on Friday and Saturday and Sunday from 4:00 till 2:00 with a host of acts to fill the line-up and satisfy all musical tastes. Cowboy hats and daisy dukes are abundant and welcome site at this event! The Rodeo is also home to the Fraser Valley’s largest midway, with a ton games and wild rides for the more daring. Featuring the World Freestyle Round Up, West Coast Lumberjack Show and the Cloverdale Cowboy Cook Off Rib Fest & BBQ Competition. I danced my first two-step with my very own Cowboy and snuggled my very first Lama at the Cloverdale Rodeo! You are sure to come away with some of your own firsts, great memories and even a swagger to your step. There is a little John Wayne in us all….go get’em cowboy! 

Where: 6050A-176th Street, Surrey
Tel & website: 604 576 9461/

Everyone loves a parade!

It seems only fitting that the capital of our great province, Victoria (named after Queen Victoria) doesn’t hold back on its namesake holiday. The city is just a hop, skip and a boat ride away from the mainland and many choose to make coming an annual pilgrimage to start their summer season. One of the countries most celebrated Parades, takes place on May 19th; it is the 116th consecutive Island Farms Victoria Day Parade. This is Victoria's largest parade event; complete with marching bands, floats, clowns & more. The Parade is about three hours long, so bringing a folding chair, blanket, snacks and provisions is a good plan – as well as some sunscreen if it’s sunny or an umbrella if it looks on the dodgy side. The city offers a wealth of attractions this holiday weekend including the Spot Prawn Festival at the Farmers Market at the Hudson, and the annual Victoria Highland Games and Celtic festival - the city of Victoria really shines over this holiday weekend.   A gorgeous sea-side city that has so much to offer, notable restaurants, great outdoor activities and a lively street scene, Victoria may have all you seek this long weekend.

No matter what your plans are for this holiday weekend, I hope that it finds you happy, with a glass of your favorite beverage in hand, either at the beach, your favorite bar with friends or in your garden heating up the BBQ. Happy Victoria Day everyone – bring on the summer!