When’s the 24th of May This Year?

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Despite the drizzly weather in Haliburton today, summer will soon be here! We’ll be welcoming a summer student to our team at the museum in just two weeks and then we’ll be getting ready to mark that oh so Canadian start to summer and the cottaging season – Victoria Day! In 1864, when Haliburton Village was first being settled, Queen Victoria had already been on the throne for twenty-seven years, having become queen at the tender age of eighteen on the death of her uncle William IV. Her marriage to Prince Albert had produced nine children, eight of whom would eventually sit on the thrones of various European Royal Houses, earning her the nickname “Grandmother of Europe”.

            The first celebration of Victoria Day, as we know it, occurred in 1945, and by the mid-1850’s, it had become such a popular celebration that 5000 Toronto residents (a sizable portion of the population at the time!) gathered downtown to mark the occasion. In the decades to follow, the date of this celebration would continue to move around until it eventually became the Monday immediately before the 25th of May, thus giving us a long weekend. Whether you’re a fan of Canada’s relationship with the British monarchy or not, there are few people who will say that a long weekend celebration is a bad thing, so we hope that you’ll join us on May18th for games, treats, crafts and the kind of celebration that Queen Victoria herself would have gotten a kick out of – we have it on good authority that she had a much better sense of fun than those solemn pictures of her would suggest!

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