The streets of downtown Fort Langley were packed for the 96th annual May Day Parade on Victoria Day.
There were pipers, floats and politicians from all levels of government participating.
The 2018 parade started at 11 a.m. and wound its way through Fort Langley before ending at Fort Langley Community Park where the May Queens and the Royal Party were piped in.
One of the very last floats in the hour-long parade looked like a beat-up old house with flamingos on the front porch and a splash of pink paint on the weathered plywood.
It had a sign on the side reading “fix it.”
The float was built by brothers Jaymie and Shelby Friesen, using donated recycled lumber on top of a 1995 Cutlass Supreme convertible, to make a point about the current impasse between builder Eric Woodward and Township of Langley administrators.
Because of the deadlock over development of three projects, several buildings in the commercial core have been boarded up by Woodward and one house was briefly painted oink with flamingos in the front yard to register a protest about the lack of progress.
“We entered the ‘Fix it’ float in favour of fixing the boarded-up buildings in the community,” Jaymie Friesen told the Times.
“We did it because we think everyone … should embrace development in Fort Langley. We want it to look great again, and that’s the best way to do it.”
He was pleased with the reaction to the float, saying most people seemed to agree with them.
Friesen said the brothers are both Fort Langley residents, but “do not have any personal stakes whatsoever” in the projects.
He said the pair had an “extremely” friendly chat with Woodward after the parade.
Woodward said he took their message “as a brilliantly simple, positive one that was not about a ‘side.’”
“… whatever the issue is, whoever is to blame, that doesn’t really matter, but that someone in charge please, just do something to solve it,” Woodward said.
“I believe most reasonable people can agree with that, if nothing else. When buildings have failed, as these have, and are not re-rentable, redevelopment is the only real solution.”