Ready for a taste of the Caribbean on Vancouver’s North Shore?
The Caribbean Days Festival returns to the city for a full weekend of sun, music and food straight from the islands, July 26-July 27. More than 30,000 people converge on North Vancouver’s Waterfront Park – just next to the Lonsdale Quay – for the largest event of its kind in the province.
The free festival, running from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, highlights the best of tropical rhythms, cuisine and culture. It kicks off with a Carnival-style parade on Saturday, July 26 (starting at approximately 10 a.m.). Costumed performers – many in feathers and skimpy, sequined outfits – strut their stuff down Lonsdale Avenue, grooving to Caribbean beats before turning onto Esplanade and making their way to Waterfront Park.
Action inside the park centres around a free outdoor music festival, backdropped by the Burrard Inlet and gorgeous views of the downtown Vancouver skyline.
Dozens of groups take the stage over the course of the two-day event, entertaining large crowds with reggae, calypso, Latin, Afrobeat and other Caribbean-influenced music. There’s a large dancing area in front of the stage to show off your best moves, as well as a Family Zone with a children’s playground.
Meanwhile, the north side of Waterfront Park is transformed into a giant food fair. Vendors selling spicy Caribbean dishes and other international fare set up tents around the perimeter, while an outdoor beer garden keeps revellers hydrated under the hot sun.
And for those who want to keep the party going after the sun goes down, there’s the Caribbean Dance Party, Saturday, July 26, from 7:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Nearby Shipbuilders’ Square at the foot of Lonsdale Avenue is the venue for this after-hours outdoor bash, which features a house band playing soca, reggae and calypso, as well as a DJ.
Getting to and from Caribbean Days is easy. Waterfront Park is a short walk from the Seabus terminal at Lonsdale Quay. Just follow the music.
For full details, visit the Caribbean Days Festival website.
Follow me on Twitter: