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May Days will be even sweeter this year

Candyland theme chosen for annual festival, complete with cupcake and gingerbread decorating stations


That's the best way to describe the theme of this year's annual Ladner Pioneer May Days, set for May 25-27 in Memorial Park.

"We picked 'Candyland' as our theme this year because we thought it would be something that would appeal not only to the kids but to the kid in all of us," says May Days committee co-chair Jackey Zellweger.

The Candyland theme will figure prominently throughout the weekend. There will be a "community cupcake" table on Saturday where visitors can ice their own cupcakes. For those who prefer a different type of treat, Sunday offers a gingerbread decorating table adorned with every kind of confection to make each gingerbread figurine unique.

Candyland will also be prevalent in the annual parade.

"Every year the kids line the streets along the parade route in anticipation of the participants passing out candy. With the parade theme being Candyland this year, I can assure you the kids will not be disappointed," says Zellweger.

New this year, the parade will include a bicycle decorating contest, in which kids are encouraged to "take pride in their ride" for a chance to win great prizes in their age category.

The second longest running May Days in the province, the Ladner Pioneer May Days started in 1896. Still going strong today, between 10,000 and 12,000 people take in May Days every year.

The festivities begin on Friday evening with discounted midway rides for kids. Saturday is filled with a broad range of top-notch family entertainers and many free activities and entertainment for children, including a petting zoo and pony rides.

Sunday activities kick off with a pancake breakfast followed at noon by the parade, featuring the May Queen float. The twokilometre parade route leads through the heart of historic Ladner Village and culminates at the stage in Memorial Park where the traditional May Pole dance and May Queen crowning ceremony take place. (View every May Queen dating back to the first May Days online at

The remainder of the fair is filled with live music, entertainers, a craft fair, a food fair and the annual fastball tournament.

But Zellweger, who cochairs the all-volunteer May Days committee with Sarah Gallop, notes that none of this would be possible without the generous support of sponsors and volunteers.

Businesses provide sponsorship and gifts-in-kind while volunteers undertake all the planning and day-of logistics. It takes 29 volunteers alone just to manage traffic.

"The sponsors and volunteers are really the heart of May Days, and what makes it a true community event," says Zellweger.

Anyone wishing to sponsor or volunteer at this year's May Days should email or, respectively. You can also find out more about the event at or by following May Days on Twitter @ LadnerMayDays.