Vancouver comes alive with celebration on July 1, 2013, in honour of Canada Day. Here are five free parties, celebrations and street fests you shouldn’t miss.
Canada Day at Canada Place: The biggest birthday bash outside of Ottawa features 13 hours of family fun on the Vancouver waterfront. Some 250,000 people will gather along the Burrard Inlet for 25 music and dance performances on three stages, extreme sports displays, street food and – of course – the Canada Day Parade. Waterfront Party, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., at Canada Place and surrounding streets. Canada Day Parade, 7 p.m.-8 p.m., starting at Georgia and Broughton Streets.
Canada Day Burrard Inlet Fireworks Show: The above party is capped off with one of the summer’s best fireworks shows. Two barges – one in Coal Harbour and one in Dundarave – light up the night sky with a pyrotechnic extravaganza visible from throughout Coal Harbour, Stanley Park, West Vancouver and North Vancouver. Best viewing is from Canada Place and the Coal Harbour seawall, which will be jam-packed with revelers. 10:30 p.m.-11 p.m., visible from locations throughout the city.
Canada Day on Granville Island: What sets this family-friendly fest apart is the music. As part of the TD Vancouver International Jazz Fest, dozens of free concerts (jazz, funk, blues, rock and more) will be staged at four indoor and outdoor stages throughout waterfront Granville Island. The event also features a parade and face painting and roving clowns for the kids. Not to mention that Granville Island’s Public Market is a foodie destination unto itself, with hundreds of vendors selling gourmet delights. Noon-9:30 p.m. (start of last concert), on Granville Island.
Steveston Salmon Festival: What better way to celebrate Canada’s birthday than with its most famous fish. Every year since 1945, historic Steveston fishing village in the suburb of Richmond has been holding “Canada’s biggest little birthday party.” Some 70,000 people now turn out for a pancake breakfast, parade, full day of wholesome entertainment (including a Japanese cultural show, children’s fest and youth rock stage) and – of course – the big salmon barbecue. More than 1,200 pounds of wild salmon filets are grilled over open fire pits to top off this fishy extravaganza ($15 per plate). 6:30 a.m. (start of pancake breakfast) – 5 p.m., on the historic Steveston Village waterfront.
Any Beach in Vancouver: Locals know that the best Canada Day party is often the one you throw yourself on one of Vancouver’s beaches. English Bay, Kits Beach, Jericho, Spanish Banks and every other strip of sand in the city come alive with sunbathers, picnickers, sports lovers and revelers of all types. Expect crowds and be sure to get there early to stake out a spot for your beach blanket.
Any other Canada Day parties happening in Vancouver? Let us know below.
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