Vancouver in a Day: The PNE and Celebration of Light

Looking for some adventure? You’ve come to the right city. No matter what time of year, when you start your day in Vancouver, it can take you anywhere.

While we were filming during the Celebration of Light festival earlier this month, we had a visitor from Germany ask us what time of year was busiest for the city: the month of August or the beginning of the ski season later in the fall?

We answered August. The story on the mountains may be a little different, but there is no other time of the year when the streets and patios of Vancouver are so alive with people and the beaches that circle the city have to be seen in order to be believed.

Every year, the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) opens its gates at the end of August and hosts over 900,000 visitors over the course of its sixteen day run. From thrill seekers to animal lovers, it truly has something from everyone.

This year, the PNE is offering its 101st year of rides, concerts, shows, food stalls and agricultural exhibits. Our perennial favourites include the Revelation, wooden rollercoaster, mini donuts and the strongman game, but really, the best way to figure out what you like is to try everything!

The gates to the PNE close on September 5th, but Playland, the amusement park on the PNE grounds, is open every year from April to the end of September. Check their site for more information.

Another event you won’t want to miss in August is the Celebration of Light. This international fireworks competition is the grand dame of Vancouver’s summer event calendar, taking place over three separate nights at the end of July and beginning of August from a barge in English Bay.

Although Vancouver’s many beaches and high rises offer great vantage points, companies like BC Wake Boats offer guided firework boat packages that not only help you beat the crowds but see the pyrotechnics from the open water. This is an up close and personal way to see the show and was one of the most memorable experiences of our summer.

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7 Responses to Vancouver in a Day: The PNE and Celebration of Light

  1. joana

    I’m a huge fan of your videos. You always manage to do really cool things, showing the best of Vancouver in the most upbeat way. It is so inviting that makes anyone want to go there and hang out with you guys.
    It’s too bad the PNE closes on the 5th, but at least I’ll still get to visit Playland and the Richmond Night Market in a couple weeks.
    Thanks for all the good recommendations of things to do and places to see in lovely Vancouver. I’ve added most of them to my list :)

  2. DJ

    awesome job on the video guys… It’s great to see people love this city as much as I do!

  3. Great city! Never a dull moment. My city is also something like this and I truly feel blessed to live in such a place. I’m sure you feel the same way.

  4. I love cities like this when there is always something going on and never a dull moment. I live in such a city and I enjoy every minute of it.

  5. This all seems like great fun. I don’t have any kind of amusement park where I live. Your city has so much to offer, it’s incredible.

  6. This is really awesome, I don’t have a single carousel in my town and I feel like my inner child can’t really enjoy herself :(

  7. Canada is one of the few countries that actually celebrates its people and its beautiful landscapes the way every country should. Props to them for keeping the people happy