7 Vancouver Festivals to Hit this Summer
Tacos and food carts and fireworks—oh my!
1. Taco Fest
This all-ages, 10-hour feast celebrates all things taco and features sweet bands like The Jolts, 88 Mile Trip, La Chinga, and Girlfriends and Boyfriends. There’s even a Ring of Fire taco eating contest for your amusement/competitive streak.
Where: Swangard Stadium, Burnaby
When: Saturday, July 16 (12 p.m. to 10 p.m.)
Celebrate all things art and culture on West Vancouver’s stunning boardwalk. There will be art and music, a reading series in the park, and a mixology night on the Ambleside Pier, where you get to celebrate the rebirth of cocktail culture. If cocktails aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other options for you—bar stations will be set up all along the waterfront.
Where: 14th Street to 17th Street on Argyle Avenue, West Vancouver
When: Friday, July 29 to Sunday, August 7
Tickets: $105 per ticketed event
This is absolutely the food truck event of the summer (and the good news is it’s happening every Sunday!). More than 20 sweet and savoury vendors come out to feed the crowds (look out for Aussie Pie Guy, Tacofino, Taters and Yolks), while live music and DJs see to the entertainment. There will also be craft food vendors, ping pong and urban gardening (because why not?).
Where: 215 W 1st Ave. (between the Cambie Bridge and Olympic Village), Vancouver
When: Recurring every Sunday
Tickets: $2.50 admission fee, or free with a non-perishable food donation to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank
In celebration of local food and sustainable agriculture, the Feast of Fields festival is celebrating its twenty-second year in Vancouver. (All proceeds support Farm Folk City Folk’s work to cultivate local, sustainable food systems across B.C.). The festival allows guests to visualize the farm-to-table experience by seeing the connection between farmers and chefs. With wine and gourmet creations from B.C.’s top chefs, farmers, fishers, ranchers, food artisans and various beverage producers, the festival is made even better with live music, strolls through giant, beautiful farm fields and great company.
Where: Laurica Farm, Langley
When: Sunday, September 11 (1 p.m. to 5 p.m.)
This year’s annual fireworks competition at English Bay beach features three countries: the Netherlands, Australia, and the U.S. Each will be competing in a fireworks battle choreographed to rousing music. While you’re there, grab a bite and/or brew at Stanley Park Brewing‘s lounge, listen to some live music, and take part in the Seawall Challenge: an adventure race benefiting after-school programs in the Lower Mainland.
When: Saturday, July 23, Wednesday, July 27 and Saturday, July 30
Tickets: The fireworks festival is free, but there are a number of VIP seating options if beach blankets aren’t for you.
The Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival is North America’s biggest of its kind, and the colourful opening ceremony is followed by a weekend of dragon boat races and music. Plus it’s right in False Creek so there are plenty of spots along the seawall (or on Tap and Barrel‘s patio) to get a good look.
Where: Concord Pacific
When: Friday, June 17 to Sunday, June 19
Tickets: Free admission
7. Richmond Night Markets
There are two open-air Asian night markets in Richmond (the International Summer Night Market—now renamed the Panda Market—and the Richmond Night Market) and both will draw thousands of visitors over the summer. Most people come out for the tasty food stalls—dim sum, deep-fried ice cream, takoyaki, deep-fried squid, potatoes on sticks, meats on sticks!—but there’s also a collection of very specific retail vendors that include things like cell phone cases, coloured contacts and samurai swords. You’ve got to go at least once this summer, and they run every weekend night into September. There will be long lines, so get there early.
Where: 8351 River Rd. for Richmond Night Market; 12631 Vulcan Way for Panda Market
When: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday throughout the summer starting at 7 p.m.