June 6, 2015 is Pitt Meadows Day and the Pitt Meadows Museum and Archives is once again working hard to prepare its two sites for the Saturday celebration.
The General Store site of the museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It has new temporary exhibit, “From Home to the Front.” The Pacific Coast Paranormal and Research Society will be a guest, while the store will host a children’s heritage style craft and a museum scavenger hunt.
The Hoffmann and Son site is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and feature a blacksmith, a Hoffmann slide show, engine guys and, with some luck, rope making.
In addition, the museum will be having the opening of its centennial mural at 2 p.m., followed by cake. This mural was done by a number of local children and youth in the community.
And now, in the spirit of 101 years of history, some trivia about Pitt Meadows Days gone past:
• At one time, Pitt Meadows Royal Party members all received a bowl of Strawberries with ice cream as a treat for their efforts.
• It is rumoured that for the first few events were held on May 24 no matter what day of the week it fell on. It seems that by 1963 the event was being held on the first Saturday in June.
• The event went through a difficult time in the late 1940s and no celebrations were held in 1948, 1949, 1950 and 1951. The newly formed Pitt Meadows Lions Club restarted Pitt Meadows Day in 1952 and Marlene Wickson was queen that year.
• Before 1958 and prior, the Pitt Meadows’ queen and her Royal Party gathered for the official ceremonies on a make shift stage put together for each years event. In 1958, British Columbia’s centennial year, a permanent stage was erected. It was dismantled in 2003. A new stage for this event and other in the community was erected for the centennial legacy project in 2014.
• May Pole dance was once an integral part of the original celebrations.
• The first mention of fireworks at a Pitt Meadows Day celebration is in 1966.
• The name of the event has also changed several times over the years. In 1937, it was known as Pitt Meadows May Day. By 1938 and through 1944 it was the Pitt Meadows Annual Sports Day and Strawberry Carnival. Starting 1945, the celebration was known as Miss Pitt Meadows Day. The day continued with this name through 1947, and it was used again when the event was reestablished in 1952 and continued through 1967, with the exception of 1964, when, in honor of the town’s 50th anniversary, it was referred to simply as “Pitt Meadows Golden Anniversary.”
The present day name – Pitt Meadows Day – started in 1968.
– By Leslie Norman, Pitt Meadows
Museum and Archives.