Learn a little bit more about Victoria Day Weekend – North America’s unofficial kickoff to summer
The middle of May means two big weekends to kick off the summer camping season. While Memorial Day is probably the first to come to mind, Canada’s Victoria Day weekend is the unofficial start to the summer camping season in North America. And Canada kicks things off with a bang, according to the 2016 North American Camping Report, 65 percent of Canadians compared to 59 percent of Americans plan to camp this year. That’s a lot of camping!
While there’s never a bad reason to get out the RV or cozy up in Deluxe Cabin, we’ve gathered a few facts about the history of Victoria Day to get you ready for the long weekend.
- Victoria Day is a federal Canadian holiday celebrated the Monday before May 25 in honor of Queen Victoria’s birthday. First celebrated in Ontario in 1845, the date became a national Canadian holiday in 1901. In 1952, when the holiday officially got its Monday date, campers rejoiced as a new long weekend was born.
- While other countries may celebrate Victoria’s birthday on a smaller scale, only Canada makes it official – and they have the fireworks to prove it! Victoria Day is one of the most popular holidays for fireworks extravaganzas. Even campgrounds get in on the act with locations such as Cardinal / Ottawa South KOA Holiday putting on “famous fireworks.”
- In addition to celebrating the birth of Victoria, the holiday has marked Canadian celebration of Queen Elizabeth II (who was actually born in April!) since 1953. Feeling a bit left out? 1000 Islands / Kingston KOA Holiday lets everyone in on the birthday celebrations by throwing an “unbirthday” complete with cake.
- Victoria Day also has a host of nicknames across the country. The most popular of these name is “May two-four” or “May 24.” Barrie KOA Holiday confirms it; they call it May 24 right on their events page!
- Recognized as an unofficial start to summer, Victoria Day Weekend means the start of planting season, barbecues and camping! Many Canadian KOA locations use the holiday as opening weekend for fun-filled summer seasons.
Does all this talk of starting summer have you thinking about camping? Whether north of the boarder or south, find your KOA and book your stay today!