Victoria Day is a statutory holiday in Canada celebrated on the Monday preceding May 25, acknowledging Queen Victoria’s birthday. May 24th in Newfoundland is also commonly referred to as “May 24th Weekend” or “May Two-Four”, referencing a “two-four” case of beer. This name is used in NL despite the holiday rarely falling on May 24th.
The weekend marks the unofficial start of cabin and camping season (summer), so naturally it would be marked with the consumption of beer.
It’s also the first long weekend since Easter. People are eager to get out and celebrate!
Weekend Traditions for May 24th in Newfoundland
So what actually happens in Newfoundland on May 24th weekend? Think of it like every Newfoundland tradition – jam-packed into the ultimate weekend, and turned up to 11.
Where To Go
In Newfoundland, if you don’t own a cabin yourself, you likely have a friend or a friend of a friend who does. The more the merrier.
But it’s not just about cabins. Camping is fun, too. This can be done at an actual campground, trailer park, or in what we call a “gravel pit”. Tent camping is done in Newfoundland as well, but this early in the season you’re taking a gamble. Some people have been “froze to death” after deciding to camp in a tent on May 24th weekend. There have even been years when it has snowed. So, beware.
If you don’t have a place, consider renting a cabin.
Provincial park camping can be booked ahead at this website.
Food & Beverages
A good May 24th weekend starts with planning and preparation. If you’re headed into the woods, there may not be a store close by if you happen to forget something. As well, you may be drinking the entire weekend, which means you wouldn’t be able to drive.
What are some staple food & drink items on a May 24th weekend shopping list?
- Bologna (Newfoundland Steak), touton dough, and eggs (for a hearty breakfast)
- Vienna sausages
- Potato chips
- Jam-Jams, Nanaimo Bars, or some other of your favorite sweets and cookies
- Crush Soda for the kids, and some other common mix like Ginger Ale or Pepsi
- Beer and liquor of choice (for the love of God, don’t skimp on this. Bring extra – you never know who will drop by for a visit)
- BBQ items like hot dogs for an easy snack, along with steaks and burgers
- Cooked dinner ingredients like a turkey or chicken, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, etc
There are a lot of important items you’ll need in order to have a good May 24th weekend. A lot of this will come down to your specific situation.
For example, somebody going camping might want things a portable BBQ, Coleman camp stove, tent, and sleeping bags. If you have a cabin, you probably have that taken care of already. Although, if it’s your first visit of the season you might need to bring propane, a gas can for the generator, batteries for the radio, etc.
God forbid you don’t have a way to listen to the Newfoundland music show to hear Buddy Wassisname’s ‘The Gravel Pits’.
You might also want some things to keep yourself occupied like scratch tickets, a crossword book, or a puzzle.
If you’re visiting a cabin for the first time since winter began, there may be some housekeeping to do. This can include things like turning on the propane and water pump, cleaning, starting the generator or ATV for the first time, and activating the satellite TV among other things. Be sure to create a checklist to help make sure you bring everything needed.
If your cabin has a woodstove, make sure you have enough wood ready. It can still be cold this time of year!
If there’s a serious amount of work, you might even consider a quick trip during the week or weekend prior to May 24th just to ensure everything goes off without a hitch once your guests arrive. It’s all fun, but if you discover at dusk that you forgot gas for the generator, and the closest open gas bar is 2 hours away and you’re already drunk, that’ll be a little annoying.
However you celebrate, we hope this article will help you plan the ultimate May 24th weekend!