The clouds broke and the sun appeared as the 142nd May Day celebrations got underway in the Royal City on Wednesday.
Children from across New Westminster's gathered in Queen's Park Stadium for the ceremony, which included a royal procession of the May Queen suite and escorts, a speech by retiring May Queen Lauren Vanags and the crowning of 2012 May Queen Leah Binns, maypole dances by Grade 4 students and folk dances by Grade 3 students. The event is the longest running May Day celebration in the British Commonwealth, having been celebrated every year since 1870.
"While the children and the maypoles change from year to year, the music, dances, pageantry, and ceremony remain pretty much unchanged, forming the basis of a celebration that has spanned generations of New Westminster residents," said Mayor Wayne Wright.
The 2012 Royal Suite consists of: May Queen Leah Binns and royal knight Thai Tran (Hume Park); first maid of honour Isidora Cvjetan and royal knight Kinsale Philip (Richard McBride); second maid of honour Alexandra Mercier and royal knight Myles Farina (F.W. Howay); medal bearer Simrat Singh and royal knight Kyle Kirmaci (Queensborough Middle School); register bearer Emily Godowsky and royal knight Jeffery Li (John Robson); first flower girl Taylor Sponge and royal knight Xavier Cornelius (Lord Kelvin); second flower girl Zijia Wang and royal knight Christopher Brown (Connaught Heights); third flower girl Emma Hughes and royal knight Jackson Foster (Lord Tweedsmuir); and fourth flower girl Erica Malcom and royal knight Aidan Taylor (Herbert Spencer).
The 2012 May Day celebration concluded with a dance featuring members of the Royal Lancers and girls in the royal suite.