During the winter and spring, the weather in Vancouver can be just a tiny bit overcast. (We are a coastal rainforest, after all.) But come June, the clouds part, the temperature rises and the locals are ready to party.
Summer is celebration season in Vancouver, when the city buzzes with outdoor festivals, street parties, live music, parades and more. Here are five can’t-miss celebrations in Vancouver this summer.
Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival: One of Canada’s biggest Shakespeare fests is staged every summer at waterfront Vanier Park in downtown Vancouver. Take in the bard’s classics while seated in open-sided tents with vistas of the ocean and mountains. On tap for this year: Hamlet, Twelfth Night and more. June 12-Sept. 14.
Celebration of Light Fireworks: Some 1.4 million people turn out for Vancouver’s weeklong fireworks spectacular. On three separate nights, international teams launch pyrotechnics above scenic English Bay, all choreographed to music. Expect big crowds, live bands, street food and some dazzling colors. July 27, July 31 and Aug. 3.
Pride Parade and Festival: Every August, more than a half-million people crowd downtown streets for the biggest Pride parade in Western Canada, featuring hundreds of rainbow-colored, extravagant and unforgettable floats. The weekend of the big parade is also packed with parties, including the Davie Street Dance Party, an after-dark celebration with beer gardens and live music along vibrant Davie Street. Aug. 2-Aug. 4.
Pacific National Exhibition: Vancouver’s version of a county fair features 55 gravity-defying rides, livestock displays, decadent food and a main stage with musical headliners from around the world. And don’t even think about missing the SuperDogs show, with its lineup of incredibly acrobatic canines. Aug. 17-Sept. 2.