A non-May Day parade through Fort Langley on Monday, May 18, 2020. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)

A non-May Day parade through Fort Langley on Monday, May 18, 2020. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Car collectors come out in droves for drive through Fort Langley

A ‘spontaneous’ drive replaces annual May Day Parade, surprising village residents and shoppers alike

The plug has been pulled on most every car show in the Lower Mainland for 2020 due to COVID-19.

The long-standing May Day parade– that always draws thousands to Fort Langley on Victoria Day, Monday, May 18 –had to be cancelled.

And with sunny skies promised on the statutory holiday, classic car enthusiasts were “itching” to get out for a drive.

The solution, car enthusiasts and May Day committee members Russ Townsend and Steve Williams pulled out their Rolodex – speaking to their age – and began calling their friend. They dialed a few dozen members of Lower Mainland car clubs and asked if they wanted to be part of an impromptu drive through the village of Fort Langley today.

The answer was a resounding “yes,” Williams said, noting some 75-plus custom and classic cars lined the back streets of Fort Langley Monday morning. And at exactly 11 a.m. – the start time of the annual parade – they started their engines and rumbled and rolled through the centre of the village.

“With what’s going on with our current situation [the coronavirus], we cannot have a parade. So, what we are doing is a spontaneous appreciation drive through Fort Langley to show appreciation to the community and to show that we – the May Day committee and the parade supporters – are still here,” he said.

RELATED: Fort Langley Lions Club cancel 98th annual May Day parade to stop coronavirus spread

They called it a non-May Day Parade, a tribute drive for the 98th annual May Day.

It was all low key and last-minute happening, the emphasis being on social distancing and nothing official or formal, Townsend said.

It’s just an impromptu drive with no warning to the public until all the cars started arriving, Williams added. He noted that the non-parade was lead by Emergency Health Services and the Township of Langley Firefighters’ Charitable Society (TLFCS), with Fort Langley resident and Township Mayor Jack Froese social distancing inside the fire truck, waving to those along the route. A fistful of police cruisers were in the village and expecting to participate as well, but were called off just moments before the drive began.

“All in all, it was very well received,” said Williams, who noted how a few area residents set up chair in their front yards to watch as the vehicles drove down the back streets.

MORE: Memories of the past celebrated in virtual 98th Fort Langley May Day parade

“People were running out of their homes, and yelling ‘thank you.’ It was wonderful,” Williams added. Townsend, who’s been parade marshall for May Day for years, was equally thrilled to see the turnout and the reaction.

Likewise, people strolling through the village stopped along the sidewalk and watched as the entourage drove down Glover Road.

“There was a little bit of noise, a lot of chrome, and a lot of flashy cars. It was fun,” Williams said of the event, noting he could have likely tripled the turn out if he’d spent more than one day spreading the word to collectors.

“Happy May Day 2020,” he said. “And we’ll see you back here, May Day 2021.”

.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: news@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Car ShowsCoronavirusFort Langley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A non-May Day parade through Fort Langley on Monday, May 18, 2020. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)

A non-May Day parade through Fort Langley on Monday, May 18, 2020. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)

A non-May Day parade through Fort Langley on Monday, May 18, 2020. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)

A non-May Day parade through Fort Langley on Monday, May 18, 2020. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)

A non-May Day parade through Fort Langley on Monday, May 18, 2020. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)

A non-May Day parade through Fort Langley on Monday, May 18, 2020. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)

A non-May Day parade through Fort Langley on Monday, May 18, 2020. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)

A non-May Day parade through Fort Langley on Monday, May 18, 2020. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)

Just Posted

Saanich police Chief Constable Scott Green (right) stands with Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers program coordinators Phil Downie and Gill Millam who received a Crime Stoppers International award for their work in 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Saanich Police Department)
West Shore RCMP say a large dog is in the ownership of CRD Animal Control after it attacked a Langford mother and her child near Glen Lake on Nov. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Large dog attacks mother and child in Langford

Police say dog in ownership of CRD Animal Control

Victoria School for Ideal Education at 2820 Belmont Avenue is the second school in Greater Victoria with an active confirmed COVID-19 exposure. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Private school becomes second Greater Victoria school with COVID-19 exposure

Victoria School for Ideal Education follows Lakeview Christian School in Saanich

Brenda Schroeder thought she was reading it wrong when she won $100,000 from a Season’s Greetings Scratch & Win. (Courtesy BCLC)
New home on the agenda after scratch ticket win in Saanich

Victoria woman set to share her $100,000 Season’s Greetings lottery win

B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan votes at Luxton Hall during advance polls for the provincial election in Langford, B.C., Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
2020 provincial election sets historical low turnout

Just over 1.9 million registered voters cast ballots in 2020

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

A rider carves a path on Yanks Peak Saturday, Nov. 21. Two men from Prince George went missing on the mountain the next day. One of them, Colin Jalbert, made it back after digging out his sled from four feet under the snow. The other, Mike Harbak, is still missing. Local search and rescue teams went out looking Monday, Nov. 23. (Sam Fait Photo)
‘I could still be the one out there’: Snowmobiler rescued, 1 missing on northern B.C. mountain

As Quesnel search and rescue teams search for the remaining rider, Colin Jalbert is resting at home

More than 70 anglers participated in the bar-fishing demonstration fishery on Sept. 9, 2020 on the Fraser River near Chilliwack. DFO officers ticketed six people and seized four rods. A court date is set for Dec. 1, 2020. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Anglers ticketed in Fraser River demonstration fishery heading to court

Sportfishing groups started a GoFundMe with almost $20K so far for legal defence of six anglers

Care home staff are diligent about wearing personal protective equipment when they are in contact with residents, but less so when they interact with other staff members, B.C. Seniors Advocate says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
More COVID-19 testing needed for senior home staff, B.C.’s advocate says

Employees mingling spotted as virus conductor in many workplaces

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks with the media following party caucus in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental health as grounds for assisted death is likely temporary: Lametti

Senators also suggested the exclusion renders the bill unconstitutional

Most Read