How many people can you serve with 1,200 pounds of wild salmon? On Canada Day July 1, chefs at Steveston’s annual Salmon Festival Barbecue will prepare 2,300 plates of fresh sockeye expertly cooked over open alder wood fire pits.
Steveston knows fish. Referred to as Salmonopolis and home to the “Monster” Gulf of Georgia Cannery, a national historic site, this scenic West Coast fishing community is just a 20-minute drive south of Vancouver. It’s a perfect day trip for canny Canada Day celebrants looking to get out of town, without traveling too far.
Although the Steveston Salmon Barbecue steals the spotlight, it’s just one part of the family-friendly Steveston Salmon Festival, “Canada’s biggest little birthday party.”
The 67th Steveston Salmon Festival kicks off with a Children’s Bike Parade at 9:30 am followed by the whopping Canada Day Parade at 10 am. Over 100 floats, marching bands celebs, politicians and more will traipse through historic Steveston village. At noon, the main stage is the centre of the action with the official renditon of O Canada. From here on out, the stage gives way to live music and entertainment, led by Juno Award winning musician Bill Bourne. Fans of Canada’s Got Talent won’t want to miss an act by Fresh Groove, a hip hop dance crew who recently appeared on the hit show.
Kids will enjoy the amusement rides, which have been reincorporated into the 67th annual fest after a three-year absence. The carnival will be open both days – Saturday, June 30th and Sunday, July 1st – from noon to 5:00pm.
For those wishing to learn more about Steveston’s history, the festival’s Japanese Cultural show is a must attend. The show features displays and demonstrations on a variety of traditional Japanese arts such as origami, bonsai and doll making as well as insight into the Japanese-Canadian community who helped build the fishing industry in Steveston.
This year’s Salmon Festival happily coincides with Ships to Shore Steveston 2012, when trio of classic tall ships will sail into the heart of Steveston Village. The ships will be docked at Imperial Landing, just a few paces along the wooden boardwalk from Bayview and No. 1 Road from Friday, June 29 to Sunday, July 1. Read our coverage of tall ship viewing here.
Steveston Salmon Festival is a free event. The Salmon Barbecue costs $15 a plate. Find out everything you need to know about parking on Canada Day in Steveston here. For more ways to celebrate July 1, check out Dana’s list of the Top 10 Canada Day Events and Celebrations.