Kids dance around a Maypole in Cumberland in 2015.

Photo Credit: Currently Cumberland

It’s Quirky, It’s Cumberland, and It’s Back On

Your chance to see a small town parade with Shriners driving go-karts, the Maypole Dance, horseshoe tossing, bagpipers, and many other cultural treats

Legendary Empire Days are back in Cumberland this May long weekend

It’s official. The legendary Victoria Day Parade returns after a two-year COVID break.

Ever wonder what a small town parade looks like?

Look no further than Cumberland this May long weekend. It seems the entire village of Cumberland comes out to partake or watch the parade as it moves down Dunsmuir Avenue.

It’s part nostalgia, and part quirky representation of modern village life. Expect to see parade regulars like fire trucks, classic cars, and Shriners Society members in fez hats zipping around in go-karts.

There’s also a marching band, of course.

You will see members of the Cumberland Community Forest Society banging drums, dressed up as forest creatures, trees, and whatever else they can rummage from their tickle trunks.

Many pounds of candy will be tossed at spectators lining the street, sending kids scrambling.

But perhaps the biggest draw of the May long weekend celebration, known as Empire Days, is the Maypole Dance and Crowning of the May Queen.

It involves dancing around a pole, signifying a tree and decorated with ribbons and garlands. Historians believe the Maypole dance has roots going back 2,000 years with roots in Germany, Britain, and the ancient Roman Empire. The celebration is associated with spring fertility and hopes for a good harvest.

For more than a century, Cumberland has held the Maypole dance and celebrated a new May Queen every year (except the last two). The village’s first celebration of Queen Victoria’s May 24 birthday was way back in May 1888.

A bagpiper will pipe his way through the historic Waverly Hotel at some point. There’s a horseshoe tossing event, fashion show, soapbox derby, a community garage sale, and other events.

Film director David Lynch couldn’t dream up a stranger and more colourful village scene than what unfolds every May long in Cumberland. Check it out. It’s not to be missed.

For a full schedule of events, go to:


Like us on