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

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Council talks trash: New garbage bylaw in the works

Draft bylaw to be voted on at Monday, May 25 council meeting

UPDATE: Police oversight agency investigating after shots fired Saturday night in Chilliwack neighbourhood

RCMP reported a ‘distraught male’ fired at police officers on Christina Drive – IIO is on scene Sunday

Prospera Credit Union, Westminster Savings lay off over 100 staff following historic merge

2020 merger was largest credit-union merger in Canadian history

‘Service beyond the classroom’: Gerry Palmer wins UFV award

Palmer has been involved with UFV for more than 30 years, starting as an instructor

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

‘Not a joke’: Promoter wants to rocket-launch man the length of White Rock pier

Brooke Colby says he’s building an eight-foot rocket in his backyard

RCMP confirm man dead in Chilliwack shooting incident

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Boy, 2, left with ‘soft tissue injuries’ after being hit by car in Squamish intersection

Boy was release from hospital, police continue to investigate

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Most Read