Car Free Day Vancouver is Back: 4 Huge Street Parties, No Traffic

Photo credit: Rob__ | Flickr

Photo credit: Rob__ | Flickr

This June, some of Vancouver’s busiest streets will be filled with a different kind of traffic – people partying in the middle of the road as part of a city-wide outdoor bash.

The 11th instalment of Car Free Day is coming to neighbourhoods throughout Vancouver June 20-June 21. The festival sees major arteries closed to traffic and transformed into free, open-air parties – with street food, live music and entertainment, skate parks, arts and crafts markets and more.

Car Free Day began 10 years ago on Commercial Drive in direct response to the Port Mann/Highway 1 improvement project. Though the multi-billion-dollar project is now complete, Car Free Day – which is 100-percent volunteer run by local residents – still serves as a reminder that “fewer cars equals more community.”

Distinct events are now held in four neighbourhoods: Commercial Drive, Main Street, the West End and Kitsilano (details below). Each bash has its own flavour and activities corresponding to the character or the neighbourhood. Kitsilano does resident-hosted block parties, for example, while Main Street showcases dozens of local bands. Here’s the lineup of events:

Photo credit: Rob Baxter | Flickr

Photo credit: Rob Baxter | Flickr

Commercial Drive: As the birthplace of Car Free Day, the Drive always pulls out all the stops. This year, organizers are planning for 15 blocks of entertainment and community fun including roller disco, parading drummers, healing gardens, DJs and lots of enthusiastic local residents. Sunday, June 21st, noon-7 p.m.; Commercial Drive from Venables Street to Grandview.  

Photo credit: thirteencentpinball | Flickr

Photo credit: thirteencentpinball | Flickr

Main StreetMain Street features 21 blocks of pedestrian-friendly fun, making it the biggest of the four Car Free Day bashes. The event is known for its great live music on community-supported stages, as well as a big skateboard half pipe.  In addition, there’s multiple kid zones and artisan markets. Sunday, June 21st; noon-7 p.m.; Main Street from Broadway to 30th Avenue. 

Photo sourced from carfreevancouver.org

Photo sourced from carfreevancouver.org

KitsilanoOut in Kits, they do something a little different for Car Free Day. Local residents of the leafy, seaside ‘hood host dozens of different block parties with their friends and neighbours. Each one is different: Some parties are just a couple of chairs dragged out into the middle of the street, while others have music and dancing. Saturday, June 20-Sunday, June 21; various locations in Kitsilano (map to be posted online). 

Photo credit: brent granby | Flickr

Photo credit: brent granby | Flickr

West EndThe downtown neighbourhood puts on a low-key bash that welcomes all-comers, from families and kids to seniors and singles. Enjoy acoustic music on several stages, as well as a kids zone and a local artisan market. Saturday, June 20th, noon-6 p.m.; Denman Street from Davie Street to Robson Street.  

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5 Responses to Car Free Day Vancouver is Back: 4 Huge Street Parties, No Traffic

  1. Just a note to correct the West End information: it is happening Saturday June 20th, not Sunday June 20th :)

    • Inside Vancouver

      Thanks Caitlin – we’ve corrected the typo

  2. Alex

    always loved these events

  3. T-dot

    traffic [traf-ik] defined by http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/traffic?s=t

    noun
    1.
    the movement of vehicles, ships, persons, etc., in an area, along a street, through an air lane, over a water route, etc.:
    the heavy traffic on Main Street.

    2.
    the vehicles, persons, etc., moving in an area, along a street, etc.

    So not sure why the title is “…NO TRAFFIC”