Posted March 2, 2011 by Adam Toren in City Guides

Annual Festivals

There are many events going on all year round in Vancouver, British Columbia. From Polar Bear swims to the Annual Vancouver Sun Run, there is always an event for everyone to enjoy and celebrate. There are marathons, parades, beer fests, music festivals and other bizarre events. Every year there are major events that happen in the city of Vancouver and it is a great way to attract tourists and bring the community closer together. Check out these top notch events in, and around the city of Vancouver. Get out and join the community of Vancouver!

Polar Bear Swim

Every year the Polar Bear Swim is held on English Bay. The first ever polar bear swim was in 1920 on New Years Day when a number of tough and bold swimmers jumped into English Bay. Peter Pantages was the founder of this holiday and every New Years Day the numbers would grow larger and larger. The event takes place in the afternoon of New Years Day and some of the costumes are outrageous.

Annual Pride Parade and Pride Week

Ever Year the Vancouver Pride Society celebrates the annual pride parade for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered community. Thousands of supporters come out to join the rest of the gay community on this special day. Pride week includes festivals, a huge parade and major events. During the summer months in Vancouver the GLBT community gets together to celebrate unity and courage. Pride week and the pride parade are all followed by huge parties at some of the best dance clubs on Davie Street. Check out www.vancouverpride.cafor more information.

Rogers Santa Claus Parade

Usually starting in Gastown every year, the Rogers Santa Claus Parade goes through downtown to celebrate the Christmas season and holiday. This event attracts thousands of people ever year and it is a great event for the kids and families. There are always loads of bands playing and floats to see during this parade. It is a glorious time as the kids anticipate the arrival of old Saint Nick. Call 604-646-3573 for more information or visit the website athttp://rogerssantaclausparade.com.

Celtic Fest Vancouver

Enjoy artists, talented performers, music and more at the Celtic fest in Vancouver, British Columbia. This hip and happening event is something everyone can enjoy and get involved in. Artists can sign up to perform at the event and entertain a large amount of people. Check out the website at http://www.celticfestvancouver.com for more information.

Bright Nights in Stanley Park

Twinkling lights turn the Stanley Park forest, the Children’s Farmyard and the train into a glorious winter wonderland. There are wooden pathways that lead to phenomenal animal displays, trees and Santa’s workshop. This event is great for families to enjoy and the kids will love seeing animals that they can pet and give love to. This has been a tradition for over 20 years in Stanley Park. Families can enjoy popcorn, roasted nuts and hot chocolate on their visit.

Alcan Dragon Boat Festival

Every year the dragon boats race against each other and people come from all over to watch them as they pass the finish line. Usually held in June, this festival shows off the cultural diversity of Vancouver and has been a long loved event since the Expo in 1986. While the races are going on, visitors will enjoy performances, crafts and art displays. Check outwww.dragonboatbc.ca for more information on this fun event.

Halloween Host Train in Stanley Park

Every year the Stanley Park Ghost Train is loved by many families and kids. Since the year of 1999, this fun event includes pirate hats, train rides, face painting, haunted Children’s Farmyard, scary animals and so much more. Every year there is a new theme to the ghost train and families come from all over the city to visit this spooky event. This event is usually held from early October to the beginning of November. Call 604-280-4444 for ticket purchase or check out the website for more informationwww.city.vancouver.bc.ca/parks/events/ghosttrain/index.htm.

Vancouver Sun Run

Every year runners enjoy getting out on a brisk April morning and running for numerous charities and causes. Thousands of people get together in teams and run or walk the whole course across the city. After the sun run people enjoy a huge party and celebrate into the wee hours of the morning. Check out www.canada.com/vancouversun/sunrun/index.html for more information.

Dine Out Vancouver

Locals and visitors can enjoy some of the best cuisine Vancouver has to offer.  Some of the hottest restaurants offer 3 course meals at discount prices so even travelers or locals on a budget can enjoy. Sometimes these restaurants offer complimentary wines by BC. This event is usually held through the middle of January to February.

HSBC Celebration of Light

This explosive event attracts thousands of people to the English Bay area every year. It usually consists of three or four different countries in competition and then a finale. People come from all over to watch the amazing fireworks explode over English Bay.  You can check the yearly event out at www.celebration-of-light.com.

Vancouver Queer Film Festival

This fantastic film event attracts many people who are interested in gay and lesbian independent film.  Call 604-844-1615 for more information or visit the website athttp://www.queerfilmfestival.ca.

Vancouver Jazz Festival

Drawing in over 500,000 people every year, Vancouver’s hottest jazz bands hit the parks in the city. It involes fun filled jazz days with kiosks, cold beer, food, crafts and clothing to purchase. David Lam Park is one of the top places where they hold the event and it provides gorgeous views of False Creek and Yaletown. Check out the main event by visiting the website www.coastaljazz.ca.

Canada Day at Canada Place

Every July 1st there are tons of events and activities for families, locals and visitors to enjoy while celebrating Canadian culture. Canada Place also hosts an IMAX theatre; the Five Sails restaurants and the Port of Vancouver where people can watch major cruise ships come in. Visit Canada Place online at www.canadaplace.ca.


Adam Toren

Adam Toren
Adam Toren is born and raised in Vancouver BC and loves everything Vancouver BC has to offer. He loves traveling and exploring new and unique restaurants and places around the world.