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

Rick Morgan, Nanaimo Search and Rescue building director, and Carly Trobridge, president and search manager, turn sod to kick off the start of renovations to NSAR’s headquarters Tuesday, Jan. 26. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Search and Rescue getting started on $2.6-million makeover at Harewood headquarters

Renovation project will increase space for vehicles and improve training and management operations

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

A downed power line has sparked a brush fire along Yellow Point Road south of Nanaimo. (Cole Schisler/Black Press)
Downed hydro line sparks brush fire in Yellow Point

North Oyster firefighters and B.C. Hydro on scene along Yellow Point Road

A concrete seawall built to prevent erosion on a property on Driftwood Drive on Mudge Island. (Islands Trust image)
Appeal Court says Mudge Island homeowners’ seawall has to go

Court decides right to guard against erosion isn’t a ‘privileged’ property right

McDonald’s on Nicol Street in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
McDonald’s in Nanaimo reports COVID-19 case

Employee at Nicol Street location last worked Jan. 17

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP have arrested a prolific offender who is now facing more than 40 charges. (Black Press file photo)
‘Priority offender’ arrested in Cowichan Valley faces more than 40 charges

Tyler Elrix, 37, had a history of evading police; was ordered not to be in Vancouver Island

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Emergency crews were called to a three-vehicle crash Monday morning on the old Island Highway close to Rock City Road. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Car, pickup and semi truck crash along the highway in Nanaimo

Incident happened in front of Rock City Plaza on Monday morning

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
5 big lessons experts say Canada should learn from COVID-19

‘What should be done to reduce the harms the next time a virus arises?’ Disease control experts answer

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Most Read