Fort Langley Lions Club May Day Parade in 2018 features old tractors among dozens of other floats. (Langley Advance Times files)

Fort Langley Lions Club cancel 98th annual May Day parade to stop coronavirus spread

Organizers say the parade typically attracted up to five or six thousand people

The Fort Langley Lions Club have announced the cancellation of their 98th annual May Day parade – the latest large gathering to be nixed amid COVID-19 concerns.

The event, initially planned for Monday, May 18, traditionally began with a pancake breakfast, followed by a stream of floats, bands, and other participants parading down Trattle Street to Mavis Avenue in Fort Langley.

Russell Townsend, the parade chair and Marshall, said the cancellation had to be done because the event normally attracts five to six thousand people.

“It’s never been shut down before – even during the war they still had it. But it’s safer to do so. We wouldn’t want to spread anything,” Townsend said.

Townsend added that the Lions Club has been completely shutdown since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic – no bi-weekly spaghetti dinners, seniors dinners, or alcoholic anonymous meetings have occurred for the past month.

“We wouldn’t want anyone to contaminate our building,” Townsend said. “It’s the right thing to do.”

READ MORE: Lions Clubs donate generous gift to local hospital to help Langley breathe easy

The Fort Langley Lions Club is a part of Lions Clubs International, a network of volunteers who work together to answer the needs that challenge communities.

Major events for the club include The Fort Langley Cranberry Festival, Christmas hamper and bureau collections, and support for seniors, programs such as Camp Zajac, and annual events such as the Fort Langley Remembrance Day Service.

Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization with more than 1.4 million members in approximately 46,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the world.

More information on Fort Langley’s club can be found at https://e-clubhouse.org/sites/fortlangleybc/

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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