Mabel Grant stands with Brittany Conkin and Stephanie Jack at the 2002 Boston Bar May Days. Jack was in the incoming queen and Conkin was the outgoing queen that year.

May Days tradition stays strong in Boston Bar

Crowning of queen started in 1927 with Mable Grant

Signs of spring are all around us, but the most obvious celebration of the turning of seasons is the arrival of May Days.

For more than 80 years, the town of Boston Bar has been welcoming spring with a parade, May Pole dance, and of course, the naming of the May Queen.

This year, the honour goes to 16-year-old Justice Watson, a student at Boston Bar elementary secondary school.

Joan Blakeborough, from the Boston Bar North Bend Enhancement Society, said May Queen ceremony has been a favourite for many years.

In the 1930s, the girls would be all dressed in white, but that has changed over the years, she said.

“They’re given a cape and a crown and the whole bit,” Blakeborough said.

“We have the retiring queen who will be in the float,” she said.

Last year’s queen was Richelle Roche, also from Boston Bar.

While prospective queens used to go door to door to drum up donations and support for their reign, now the queen is decided by number of votes.

“I guess now they figure that’s not safe,” she said, to go door to door.

The very first May Queen in Boston Bar was Mable Grant, in 1927, who has recently passed away. Blakeborough remembers when Grant was honoured in the 2002 ceremony with a special, quite regal, entrance.

“She was the first one,” she said. “So it was good to have her there. She was sitting right up front in the coach.”

The tradition of May Day is not one that’s commonly celebrated, but there are many communities around the world that have kept it alive.

Boston Bar has the second longest running May Day celebration, second only to New Westminster. May Day there has been celebrated since 1870, making it the longest running May Day celebration in the entire Commonwealth.

“I think it’s neat we’re still doing it,” Blakeborough said.

The crowning of the May Queen is just the start of the day. After that, the school children will perform the Maypole dance, winding ribbons elaborately around the pole.

There are also community awards, and a huge celebration with vendors, a silent auction, beer gardens and food tent.

Singer Lou Morocco will perform his Vegas style Superstars of Magic, with music that spans the decades.

For more information, visit www.bostonbarbc.net.

 

 

 

Just Posted

More funding for Harrison tourism projects on the horizon

Village could see increased funding by 2020

Most cows saved during massive fire on Agassiz farm thanks to fast work of farmers, neighbours

Agassiz Fire Department responded to late night call Wednesday

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

Chilliwack steps up to the plate and brings music and dance Provicials to town to prevent lag

Sponsors are needed to help knock the 2019 Provincials out of the park

Massive fire destroys Agassiz dairy barn

Reports say at least one cow died in the blaze

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

Whitecaps see playoff dreams fade after 2-1 loss to FC Dallas

Goal in 87th minute seals Vancouver’s fate

Porsche impounded for going 138 km/hr in 90 zone during charity rally

West Vancouver Police said wet roads and heavy rain made it extra dangerous

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

Phase 2 of $1.35B Royal Columbian upgrades won’t be a public-private partnership

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix says it will be a design-build

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

B.C. man fined $15,000, barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Emergency crews investigate small sulphuric acid spill in Kootenays

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

Most Read