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

Boundary freshet 2020: At least 189 properties ordered to evacuate as of June 1

Real-time gauges on the West Kettle, Kettle and Granby rivers suggested Monday water near peak

Flood warning issued for Boundary as Kettle River expected to rise to 20-year return level

RDKB: This amounts to a high flood risk for low-lying properties in the region

UPDATED: 189 homes in Grand Forks area given evacuation orders

Homes are in the Nursery, Grand Forks Airport, Gilpin Rd., Johnson Flats and Granby Rd. areas

RDKB issues evacuation alert for 1,100 Boundary properties

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

RDKB launches survey to address housing needs in the district

Communities in the district include Trail, Grand Forks, Rossland and Fruitvale

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Love flourishes at Peace Arch Park, but COVID-19 concerns loom

South Surrey park becomes only place for international couples to meet

Most Read