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Naramata celebrates 100 years of May Day celebrations

Traditional Maypole dance, a parade, soapbox races and more set for May long weekend
Crowning of May Queen Florrie Lyons, retiring Queen is Alice Cross circa 1925 at Manitou Park in Naramata. 2023 marks 100 years of May Day celebrations in Naramata. (Photo from Naramata museum courtesy of

The 100th annual Naramata May Day celebrations are taking place over the May long weekend with traditions that date back a century. Many activities are planned to celebrate this special occasion, including the traditional Maypole Dance, games, parade, soapbox races and museum open house. The schedule of events is as follows:

Friday, May 19th

Soapbox Race

· 1 to 2 p.m. at the corner of Ellis Avenue and 8th Street in Penticton.

· Grade 5 children will race their personally designed and constructed soapboxes down Ellis Avenue with the guidance of the Naramata Fire Department.

· Event is open to the public.

May Day Family Dance

· 6 to 8 p.m. at the Naramata Elementary School gymnasium, 3660 8th Street, Naramata.

· A community-driven dance that will celebrate past and current May Day participants with live music, a photo booth, and snacks. The event is for alumni of Naramata Elementary School and May Day.

Sunday, May 21st

May Day Open House

· 1 to 4 p.m. at the Naramata Museum, 214 Robinson Avenue, Naramata.

· This event will pay homage to the past 100 years with a collection of pictures, memorabilia, and various items from past May Day celebrations.

· Event is open to the public.

Monday, May 22nd

May Day Parade and Ceremony

· 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Manitou Park, Dorothy Road, Naramata.

· The day will start off with a children’s parade, followed by a traditional Maypole Dance by Naramata Elementary School students and community members, a decorated bike contest, traditional races and games including a potato sack race, a silver spoon race, and a tug of war. The OAP (Old Age Pensioners) will be onsite serving a barbequed dinner and celebratory cake.

May Day is a community-driven event planned by passionate groups and members of the community. It is their dedication, vision, and desire that continue this annual beloved tradition.

READ MORE: Celebrating centennial with maypole dance

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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