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Port Coquitlam agrees to wind up May Days committee after 100-year party

Port Coquitlam recently disbanded its volunteer May Days committee. Last year's spring festival, to mark 100 years of Mays Day in the city, drew more than 25,000 people out to the parade and for the week-long activities.
The Rotary May Day Parade on Shaughnessy in Port Coquitlam.

The City of Port Coquitlam has agreed to disband its volunteer May Day committee — six months after the municipality marked the 100th anniversary of the annual spring festival.

In a December 2023 letter obtained by the Tri-City News, former committee chair Bob Lee wrote that the week-long celebration has grown so much that the group needs to bring in outside support.

But it hasn’t been able to find expertise in advertising and sponsorship, among other areas.

And the committee also lost its federal funding of about $13,000, money that was used in part for event promotion via a website.

“It is the recommendation from the city and I that the May Day committee be dissolved and all responsibilities be passed to the city,” Lee wrote in an email.

Lee wrote the city will continue to work with the Rotary Club on the parade, and he encouraged May Day committee members to continue to volunteer with the city.

"It leaves me with a heavy heart," he told the Tri-City News on Friday, Feb. 2.

Still, Glenn Mitzel, Port Coquitlam’s recreation director, said that city staff will keep reaching out for community input on the city-run May Days.

"Working with Bob Lee, we’ll evaluate whether that continues through a standalone event committee or by partnering with the other volunteer committees that exist in the city." 

The centennial May Days last year drew more than 25,000 visitors to the parade and for the week-long activities.

The May Day Parade and Party in the Square will be held on May 11, 2024. Applications are now being accepted for food and market vendors.