Things To Do In Vancouver This Weekend

Things To Do In Vancouver This Weekend

Fill up your calendar for June’s first Friday to Sunday!  There’s so much to do, and only three days to do them all in… Read on for our top picks for things to do in Vancouver this weekend!

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Things To Do In Vancouver This Weekend

15 Cool Things To Do in Vancouver in June 2013

Vancouver International Busker Festival. Photo credit: Vancouver Busker Fest

Vancouver International Busker Festival. Photo credit: Vancouver Busker Fest

June in Vancouver is one of the best months for festivals, many of which are free.

Italian Day (June 9) on Commercial Drive is a free Venetian-style street party honouring Vancouver’s Little Italy. Fanfare includes grape stomping, pizza tossing, bocce and a vespa show. Over in Kitsilano, Greek Day (June 23; also free) means shouting “opa!” while dancing with strangers on a belly full of spanakopita.

Each Vancouver neighbourhood, from Main Street to the West End, celebrates community by shutting down a stretch of road for a (free) block party on Car Free Day June 16.

Vancouver turns out in droves for TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival starting June 21. With 150 free soul, jazz, roots and R&B concerts, it’s easy to have fun without splurging on tickets. Still, the international talent performing at the ticketed Jazz Fest shows may prove too tempting to turn down.

Finally, the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival (June 21-23) and Vancouver International Busker Festival (June 29-July 1) are two of the most striking and unique (free) spectator opportunities of the year. Cheer on the competitors as they race their vibrant dragon boats through False Creek in North America’s largest dragon boat festival. And prepare to be amazed by circus-freaks and dare devils at Busker Fest 2013–150 wild, free street performances on Granville Street in downtown Vancouver.

Find the full June list after the jump. Continue reading:
15 Cool Things To Do in Vancouver in June 2013

Italian Day on Commercial Drive – June 10, 2012

This weekend, Vancouver kicks off the summer season of free multicultural events—including June’s upcoming Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival and Greek Day on Broadway—with Italian Day on Commercial Drive, a full day of free fun with Italian food, fashion, entertainment, games, and Euro Cup 2012 festivities that will transform the always-happening Drive into a street fair for all ages.

Newcomers to Vancouver may be surprised to learn that Commercial Drive—today an urban hub of multiculturalism and counterculture—used to be Vancouver’s “Little Italy;” you can see evidence of that cultural history in the Drive’s large number of Italian restaurants and delis (not to mention the wide spread support for Italy during the World Cup). For 15 years, from 1977 – 1982, Italian Day was an annual tradition on the Drive, but the event went on hiatus after the crowds became too much for the original organizers to handle.

Thankfully, Italian Day made its comeback in 2010, and over 50,000 people came out to celebrate. Now, thanks to Mayor Robertson’s 2011 designation of June as Italian Heritage Month, Italian Day on Commercial Drive looks like it’s here to stay!

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Italian Day on Commercial Drive – June 10, 2012

Italian Day on Commercial Drive June 5, 2011

Italian Day on Commercial Drive. Photo: File, Vancouver Sun

Today, East Vancouver’s popular Commercial Drive is home to a varied, multicultural community, but its roots as Vancouver’s “Little Italy” still show, both in its Italian delis and cafes and in its huge celebration of all things La Dolce Vita, Italian Day on Commercial Drive.

Italian Day was an annual tradition on the Drive from 1977 – 1982, but it became so enormous that the event producers had difficulty handling the logistics, and the tradition petered out. But 2010 brought back Italian Day—the 2010 event attracted over 50,000 people—and now, hopefully, the celebration is here to stay. (It helps that Mayor Robertson has designated June 2011 “Italian Heritage Month” in the City of Vancouver.)

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Italian Day on Commercial Drive June 5, 2011

Top 5 Reasons to Go to Italian Day on Sunday – Don’t fugedaboudit!

Graphic: thedrive.ca

While Vancouver’s Chinatown is a top tourist attraction and the Little India neighborhood draws plenty of visitors, few people realize that Vancouver also has a Little Italy.  Although the city’s Italian population has dwindled over the years, the Commercial Drive neighborhood has long had a strong Italian presence. This Sunday, June 6, Commercial Drive will celebrate its heritage with Italian Day 2010.

Streets will be closed to traffic and filled with vendors selling pastas and sausages.  This is the city’s first Italian Day since 1982, so expect big crowds hungry for some authentic Italian cooking and culture.  Here are five reasons to check out Italian Day on Sunday.

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Top 5 Reasons to Go to Italian Day on Sunday – Don’t fugedaboudit!