Ready to celebrate the 2013 August Long Weekend in Vancouver? Here are five activities for making the most of the weekend and B.C. Day holiday, Aug. 3-Aug. 5.
Celebration of Light Fireworks, Saturday, Aug. 3: The final instalment of this year’s Celebration of Light sees Thailand lighting up the night sky above English Bay for an estimated 400,000 spectators. The party starts around 5 p.m. with Shorefest, free concerts at two stages at English Bay and Sunset Beach. Crowds are treated to a special Red Bull Airshow at 8:10 p.m., followed by the fireworks at 10 p.m. There are also plenty of Vancouver’s award-winning food trucks on site, as well as Jamcouver, a pro skateboarding expo. Fireworks start at 10 p.m. on Aug. 3 at English Bay. Details.
Powell Street Festival, Saturday, Aug. 3-Sunday, Aug. 4: This annual celebration of Japanese-Canadian culture is held in the heart of edgy East Vancouver, at Oppenheimer Park. Get ready for taiko drumming, sumo wrestling, tea ceremonies and, of course, a fantastic spread of authentic Japanese food. There are also historical walking tours of the neighbourhood, which has long been a stronghold of Vancouver’s Japanese community. The Festival runs 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Aug. 3-Aug. 4, at Oppenheimer Park (400 Powell St.). Details.
Vancouver Pride Parade, Sunday, Aug. 4: Join an estimated half-million people on the streets of downtown Vancouver for the biggest Pride parade in Western Canada. Hundreds of rainbow-coloured floats make their way down Robson and Denman Streets, ending up at Sunset Beach. And that’s where the real party starts. The Sunset Beach Pride Festival features food carts, live music and 150 tents, all on the waterfront. The parade starts at noon on Aug. 4 at the corner of Robson and Thurlow Streets, followed by Pride Fest at Sunset Beach from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Details.
Food Cart Fest, Sunday, Aug. 4: Twenty of Vancouver’s finest food trucks circle up outside of Olympic Village for a day of feasting and live music on the False Creek waterfront. Expect everything from fusion fish tacos to Aussie hand pies, wood-fired pizzas and gourmet grilled cheese. The Fest also features vendors from the hip Eastside Flea, a monthly community market featuring handmade goods, vintage clothing and other bits and bobs sure to leave hipsters slavering. The Food Cart Fest ($2 admission; free for kids) runs noon-5 p.m. at 215 W. 1st Ave., between Olympic Village and the Cambie Bridge. Details.
Harmony Arts Festival, Friday, Aug. 2-Sunday, Aug. 11: Hop over to West Vancouver for this waterfront celebration of music and art. There are live concerts, entertainment and plenty of street food on offer throughout the day. But the highlight is the free Sunset Concerts at 7:30 p.m. each evening. Don’t miss Vancouver’s own Spirit of the West on Friday, Aug. 2. The Harmony Arts Festival is centred on the West Vancouver waterfront, between 14th and 16th Streets. Details.
Going to any other can’t-miss festivals over the long weekend? Let us know below.
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