Growing up on the Prairies, I don't think I'd ever heard the term "May Two-Four" -- possibly because beer only came in cases of 6 and 12 bottles (that may have changed since then -- or maybe we were just too broke as kids/university students to buy more than a case of 12?? lol). I also don't remember much in the way of backyard fireworks, another staple of the May long weekend in Ontario. I don't think they were legal in Manitoba in the 1970s. That may have changed too. Here, anyone can & does buy them from the back of a truck in shopping mall parking lots in the days leading up to the holiday. We watch from inside the house, delaying our bedtime until after the explosions have died down, nervously eyeing the trajectory of the light flashes and praying that a glowing ember doesn't land on our roof....! :p
Growing up on the Prairies, the "summer kickoff" connection was also a bit tenuous, because the weather could still be pretty cold. My parents would rarely, if ever, plant their garden (another Victoria Day weekend staple activity here in Ontario) until late May, because the risk of frost was still very real.
Of course, it's been pretty cold here in southern Ontario some years too. I can remember attending a first birthday party some years ago on the May long weekend for one of dh's cousins' kids. There were far too many people to hold the party indoors, but it was so cold (there were snowflakes in the air) we wound up huddled around the barbecue to keep warm.
And tomorrow will mark 25 years (!!!) since we moved into this house on the May long weekend. It was sunny but got quite cold overnight. And we couldn't turn on the furnace even if we wanted to, because dh's uncle (our real estate agent) discovered that the previous owners had (for some unexplicable reason) removed the filter. By the time we figured this out, it was late on Saturday -- this was before the advent of Sunday shopping in Ontario, a few years later (!) and stores were also closed Monday for the Victoria Day holiday. So we just threw another quilt on our bed that night. :)
At any rate, even if summer is not quite here, this weekend is a sign that it's on its way. Finally. Thank goodness!!
I'm not a huge Rush fan... but I love their song "Lakeside Park" -- especially the very end verse & musical coda (starting around the 2:30 mark), which references Victoria Day. It brings back great memories of teenaged summer evenings spent around a bonfire on the beach (on Lake Manitoba) with my friends. (I always thought they were singing about the Exhibition Place in Toronto, home of the annual Canadian National Exhibition -- but apparently Neil Peart wrote it about a lakeside park near his childhood home in Port Dalhousie, St. Catharines, Ontario.)
Everyone would gather
On the twenty-fourth of May
Sitting in the sand
To watch the fireworks display
Dancing fires on the beach
Singing songs together...
Though it's just a memory
Some memories last forever
You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here.