My first real Victoria Day, I suppose, since in Quebec we celebrated Dollard des Ormeaux Day until 2002, when Landry changed it to Journée des Patriotes (I googled DDO to get my facts straight on this, and boy are there some funny forums discussing this particular topic). Here in Vic however, the day is not just a holiday but yet another parade day! In fact, the biggest parade of the year in Victoria. It kicks off early (in my opinion), at 9 am, so we watched a bit of it on TV while we ate our french toast (down to my last can of real Quebec maple syrup so anyone coming this was soon feel free to stick a can in your luggage for us (hint hint Erin!) - I can accept a lot of change, but for some reason I still struggle with maple syrup in a plastic jug). Pardon the digression. Having attended most of the other parades that have come through town in the past nine months, I felt determined to check this one out, so we all headed out after breakfast to catch the tail end of the event.
It was great to see so many nationalities represented, as Victoria does not immediately present itself as being particularly multicultural. But what was most amazing was the number of marching bands. We heard them practicing all weekend, marching along the side streets of our neighbourhood. How is it that Victoria has so many marching bands? It doesn't. They came from Washington and even Oregon. Apparently there is some big marching band competition, and you get points for the number of parades you participate in or something.