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)

Just Posted

World-class carver prefers the simple life

His work can be found in galleries around the world, but Kevin Peters prefers the quiet life.

RCMP respond to 105 calls in six days

A couple of RCMP case highlights from the last week

No one injured in home invasion shooting on Back Valley Road

The incident was related to a legal cannabis grow op on the property so there is no threat to public

Fire hose testing, pump refresher successful

South Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department pressure-tested all of the department’s spare fire hose.

#SNAPANDWIN photo contest ends October 6

Enter now by posting selfies at participating businesses

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Interior Health reports five new COVID-19 cases

Across the region, 34 cases are active

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

Most Read