Quirky Fun: 10 Unique Vancouver Festivals

Unique Vancouver Festivals

January

Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival
Chocoholics will love this cocoa-fueled festival, which features an unbelievable array of exotic and specialty hot chocolates. Past flavours have included ginger hot chocolate, Mexican hot chocolate infused with hibiscus, and hazelnut hot chocolate served with Crown Royal whiskey marshmallows. Learn more about the event here.

February

Talking Stick Festival
Immerse yourself in contemporary First Nations culture at the Talking Stick Festival, a performance art event featuring live music, aboriginal cabaret, theater productions, storytelling, powwows and more.

April

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival
Every spring, thousands of blooming cherry trees transform downtown Vancouver into an urban garden of splendid pink blossoms. Celebrate this special occasion with the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, a lineup of art events, community bike rides, cherry blossom viewing tours and traditional Japanese festivities.

June

Vancouver Festival of Ocean Films
In observance of World Oceans Day, the Vancouver Festival of Ocean Films brings together international cinematographers and local community members for a multimedia event that showcases inspiring and educational films about our planet’s oceans and marine life.

Car Free Vancouver Day
Vancouver’s cyclist community is a diverse and passionate one, and it’s not uncommon to see massive bicycle events making their way through the city — no matter what time of year. During Car Free Vancouver Day, expect to see hundreds of thousands of people celebrating at various street parties, riding bicycles and watching live entertainment as an effort to promote a car-free lifestyle.

July

Illuminares Lantern Festival
The Illuminares Lantern Festival is a magical summer event featuring handcrafted puppets, locally made artwork, performance art and glowing lanterns. Visitors and locals come to this community lantern event to mingle with fellow artisans, musicians and creative minds.

Vancouver Folk Music Festival
Every year, masses of people flock to Jericho Beach Park for the annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival, a weekend-long event offering a wide range of folk music performances and spoken-word poetry. Families will love the Little Folks Village, a creative activity centre for younger kids. Read our blog post to find out more about this community event.

Caribbean Days Festival
Immerse yourself in island culture with the Caribbean Days Festival, a tropical-themed event touting a multicultural street parade and a festival at North Vancouver’s Waterfront Park. Indulge in international cuisine, listen to Caribbean-style music and experience the fun, laidback vibe of the islands.

September

Vancouver International Fringe Festival
Experience a diverse and thought-provoking assemblage of theatre productions, independent plays and unconventional performance art at the Vancouver International Fringe Festival, a longstanding arts event that promotes “theatre for everyone.”

December

VanDusen Festival of Lights
This festive event showcases countless strings of twinkling lights and holiday décor, as the VanDusen Botanical Garden is transformed into an enchanting winter wonderland. The Festival of Lights also includes Santa with his Christmas Elves, a Make-A-Wish Candle Shrine and the Candy Cane Express model train.

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