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people watching fireworks from english bay beach in vancouver canada

23 Best Vancouver Festivals and Events to Celebrate in 2024

The best Vancouver festivals challenge the idea that the city was once labelled ‘No Fun City.’

That said, picking a Vancouver festival in 2024 might be hard for those from bigger cities – since we’re just so painfully nature-heavy.

Let’s delve into it anyway! Here’s my list of the top Vancouver events, whether they encompass music festivals, art gatherings, food and wine tastings, street parties, and more.

Top Vancouver Festivals and Events: Best Festivals in Vancouver BC (2024)

a chef preparing a starter during dine out vancouver bc canada
Courtesy: Dine Out Vancouver Festival

Dine Out Vancouver Festival

Vancouver’s best food festival by a mile, you’ll thank your taste buds and your wallet for the opportunity to try set menus at Vancouver’s best restaurants for a fraction of the price.

Last year, over 300 restaurants participated, including some amazing places to try local Vancouver food like Salmon n’ Bannock Bistro and the mighty Seasons in the Park restaurant in Queen Elizabeth Park.

This Vancouver food festival is divided into four price ranges: $20.00-$29.00, $30.00-$39.00, $40.00-$49.00, and $50.00-$59.00.

This is the top event of our best things to do in January.

2024 dates: January 17th to February 4th.

Related: The Best Food Tours in Vancouver

St. Patrick’s Day & CelticFest

During the week of St. Patrick’s Day and the adjoining weekends in Vancouver, CelticFest Vancouver unfolds with a splendid array of events.

Embodying the essence of St. Patrick’s Day, this Celtic festival features whisky tastings, live music shows, and lively street celebrations.

Dive into the rich cultural celebrations at Vancouver’s CelticFest, where the spirit of Celtic heritage comes alive.

2024 festival dates: March 17th (and surrounding days)

cherry blossom trees in east vancouver with a hindu temple
Courtesy: Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

If you’re visiting Vancouver in spring, there’s one way to know winter is gone for good – and it’s looking up and seeing that pretty pink, thanks to our over 90,000 cherry blossom trees.

This Vancouver, BC, festival is actually inspired by the Japanese pastime of hanami (flower viewing).

If you’re up for this free festival, all you have to do is download a Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival map and head on your way – I suggest going to Stanley Park as the contrast to the city skyline is amazing for photos.

2024 festival dates: March 29th to April 25th.

Related: Vancouver in April: Events & Things to Do

first nations dancers performing at the international children's festival in vancouver bc canada
Courtesy: Vancouver International Children’s Festival

Vancouver International Children’s Festival

The Vancouver International Children’s Festival has a goal: inspire young children to develop creative minds through artistic experience.

This week-long Vancouver arts festival includes concerts, art workshops, games, circus, face painting, scavenger hunts and much more.

vancouver whale tour banner

One-day passes for this family-friendly Vancouver festival start at $12.50 per child.

2024 dates: May 27th to June 2nd.

Related: Things to Do in June in Vancouver

people dancing at the vancouver folk festival
Courtesy: Vancouver Folk Festival

The Vancouver Folk Music Festival

The Vancouver Folk Music Festival is sadly one of the few music festivals in Vancouver.

It takes place in Vancouver in July at historic Jericho Beach Park, one of the best beaches in Vancouver with stunning views of the mountains, ocean, and city skyline.

With a focus on acoustic and traditional music, the festival in Vancouver offers a wide range of performances, workshops, and activities for all ages.

This year, you can see the New Pornographers, Lennie Gallant, Five Alarm Funk, Clerel and more.

2024 festival dates: July 19th to 21st.

people watching the celebration of light fireworks from english bay in vancouver bc canada
Courtesy: Celebration of Light

Honda Celebration of Light

Summer in Vancouver means long nights and the amazing festivals that take advantage.

One of these celebrations is the Celebration of Light, which features spectacular fireworks displays with synchronized music.

Held over three nights in late July or early August, the event attracts huge crowds of spectators in Vancouver’s West End. Prepare to see Vancouver skies lit up with a dazzling array of colours.

I recommend avoiding all the foot traffic of downtown Vancouver and watching them from a west-side beach like Jericho or Locarno.

2024 festival dates: TBA

Related: Best Time to Visit Vancouver

a huge crowd gathered to watch a performance at the jazz festival in downtown vancouver bc canada
Courtesy: Vancouver Jazz Festival

Vancouver International Jazz Festival

The Vancouver International Jazz Festival is one of the most popular Vancouver festivals, hands down.

Naturally, the festival features a wide range of jazz performers, from up-and-comers to world-renowned legends. The 2022 Vancouver Jazz Festival features Buddy Guy, GoGo Penguin, Adria Kain, and many more.

Whether you’re a fan of jazz or just looking for the best things to do in Vancouver, you can’t go wrong – tickets start at just $15.00.

2024 festival dates: TBA.

capoeira fighters doing a demonstration at the carnaval del sol in vancouver bc canada
Courtesy: Carnaval del Sol

Carnaval del Sol

Be sure to check out Carnaval del Sol if you’re looking for events and festivals in Vancouver with a bit of outdoor Latin fire.

This two-day extravaganza celebrates Latin American culture with food vendors, live music, dancing, and more.

Expect all sorts of compelling activities like salsa-making classes (really!), Tango & Wine Night, flamenco workshops, and much more.

2024 festival dates: July 5th to July 18th.

pedestrians take over a street in downtown vancouver for car free day
Courtesy: Car Free Day

Car Free Day Vancouver

Vancouver proudly celebrates Car Free Day every September in Vancouver.

Since 2008, many streets in some of Vancouver’s best neighbourhoods have closed and been left to pedestrians, cyclists, and skaters.

Naturally, live performances, markets, food stalls, and all sorts of street activities take place. This is a unique chance to enjoy the city without the noise and pollution of traffic.

2024 festival dates: TBA.

a woman in traditional italian dress singing on commercial drive during italian day in vancouver bc canada
Courtesy: Italian Day

Italian Day on Commercial Drive

For over 40 years, the Commercial Drive neighbourhood (aka Little Italy) has come together to celebrate Italian Day, one of the top ethnic Vancouver festivals.

The streets are lined with food vendors offering everything from pizza and pasta to gelato and cannoli, and there’s live music and entertainment throughout the day.

There are also special events like an exotic Italian car display, spaghetti-eating contests, and jewelry workshops.

2024 festival dates: TBA.

wine and appetizers at the vancouver international wine festival
Courtesy: Vancouver International Wine Festival

Vancouver International Wine Festival

The Vancouver International Wine Festival is Canada’s premier food and wine event and is a great marketing opportunity for over 100 wineries, many of which are local standouts from British Columbia’s top wine region: the Okanagan.

The can’t-miss event here is naturally the tastings held at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Single-day tasting tickets start at $115.00.

There are also food pairings and a BC Liquor Store right on site for bottle purchases.

2024 festival dates: February 24th-March 3rd.

Related: The Best Bars in Vancouver

a band performing at the khatsahlano festival in vancouver
Courtesy: Khatsahlano Festival

Khatsahlano! Music + Art Festival

One of Vancouver’s most popular festivals is Khatsahlano! Music & Art Festival, which takes place every July in the bohemian Kitsilano neighbourhood.

This Vancouver street party (their words, not mine!) features eclectic concerts from talented local musicians. There are also food trucks, crafts stalls, and activities in Vancouver for kids.

The best part of this festival is that it’s completely free!

2024 festival dates: July 6th.

a performance at vancouver's bard on the beach
Courtesy: Bard on the Beach

Bard on the Beach

Bard on the Beach is an award-winning Shakespeare festival dating back over 25 years.

Naturally, if you’re planning on attending this Vancouver festival, expect tons of world-class theatre, workshops, and events.

What makes this festival in Vancouver unique is its setting in Vanier Park, where two large tents are erected to house the stage and seating – with mountain, sea, and skyline views.

Past productions have included classics such as Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

2024 festival dates: June 11th to September 21st.

parade goers holding the pride flag at the pride parade in vancouver canada
Courtesy: Vancouver Pride

Vancouver Pride Parade

Pride Vancouver festivals are always a great opportunity to celebrate diversity and show support for the LGBTQ community – and Vancouver’s Pride Parade is arguably the best in the country.

Every year, the streets of Vancouver’s West End (in particular, along Denman Street) are filled with colourful costumes, floats and marching bands.

The atmosphere is always electric – grab a seat on a patio like The Score and watch the world go by.

2024 festival dates: February 2nd to 24th.

traditional greek dancers performing at greek days in vancouver bc canada
Courtesy: Greek Heritage Month

Vancouver Greek Day

Greek Day in Vancouver actually began in 1977 as a small event to mark the 100th anniversary of Canadian Confederation.

Since then, this Westside festival in Vancouver has grown into one of the city’s largest and most popular ethnic festivals, attracting over 100,000 people each year.

Naturally, Greek Day features a wide variety of traditional Greek food, music, and dancing. I always grab a seat at one of the patio bars along Broadway and watch the festival unfold – Nostos Taverna is a fantastic place for authentic Greek food.

2024 festival dates: June 23rd.

riders ride the wooden roller coaster at the pne in vancouver bc canada
Courtesy: PNE

The Pacific National Exhibition

It wouldn’t be summer in Vancouver without a stop at the biggest Vancouver festival of all: the PNE is a 15 day annual fair that welcomes almost 1,000,000 annual visitors.

Expect a massive fairground including the amusement park Playland, concerts from big international artists, food stands, and all sorts of exhibits.

You must try the antique wooden roller coaster, but you also shouldn’t miss out on playing the legendary PNE Prize Home Lottery – for a chance to win a 3,408-square-foot, Tuscan-inspired Vancouver home.

This is one of the top upcoming festivals in Vancouver – I’ll be adding the exact dates soon.

2024 festival dates: TBA

the entrance to the fringe festival at granville island
Courtesy: Fringe Festival

Vancouver Fringe Festival

The Vancouver Fringe Festival was voted the city’s best arts festival due to its eclectic range of 700+ performances, from plays to modern dance.

What separates this Vancouver festival from others of its kind is that the main stage performances are literally drawn from a hat. This allows theatre players big and small not only a shot at the big time but the chance to collect 100% of the box office revenues.

With many tickets being below industry average, this is a great chance to see quality entertainment on the cheap. As an extra bonus, all the venues are at legendary Granville Island.

2024 festival dates: September 5th to 15th.

people attending a screening at the vancouver film festival
Courtesy: VFF

Vancouver International Film Festival

The Vancouver International Film Festival attracts film lovers from all over the world.

Every year, the festival showcases hundreds of films from a wide range of genres, from indie cinema underdogs to Hollywood blockbusters.

In addition to screenings, the festival also features interactive events, workshops, conferences, and performances celebrating the art of film.

2024 festival dates: September 26th to October 6th.

Related: Visiting Vancouver in October

people celebrating diwali fest in vancouver bc canada
Courtesy: Diwali Fest

Vancouver Diwali Fest

Diwali is one of the most important holidays in Hinduism. This festival of lights was originally a ritual to protect people from spiritual darkness, and on this side of the pond, it has become one of Vancouver’s best cultural festivals.

It is traditionally commemorated with prayers, feasts, and the exchange of gifts. The main downtown Vancouver Diwali celebration is usually celebrated at the Roundhouse in Yaletown.

The Vancouver Art Gallery and Museum of Anthropology also hold Diwali Celebrations featuring henna painting, dance performances, and traditional Indian cuisine.

2024 festival dates: TBA.

santa claus riding a float in the snow during the vancouver santa claus day parade
Courtesy: Santa Claus Parade Vancouver

Santa Claus Parade Vancouver

If you’re visiting Vancouver in winter then the most anticipated festival is the Vancouver Santa Claus Parade.

You can look forward to gigantic floats decked out in lights, costumed characters handing out candy to excited children, and, of course, Santa Claus. The parade starts out downtown on West Georgia Street and hooks a left on Burrard, ultimately ending near the water.

I recommend grabbing a spot at the beginning or end of the route (preferably the end if you’re a tourist looking for sights in nearby Gastown) to avoid crowds.

2024 festival dates: TBA.

Related: New Year’s Eve in Vancouver

an assortment of waffles and crepes at the vancouver christmas market
Courtesy: Vancouver Christmas Market

Vancouver Christmas Market

If you’ve ever been to a German Christmas market, you’ll be happy to find a similar festival in Vancouver – during Christmas in Vancouver.

Vancouver’s Christmas Market keeps the German spirit alive with schnitzel, pretzels, chimney cakes, and glühwein – but you’ll also find locally smoked salmon, Vancouver-made spirits, and Asian-style street food as well.

This is also the perfect place to grab a British Columbia souvenir, from handmade ornaments to candles to jewelry.

2024 festival dates: November 13th to December 24th.

there's a lot of people on the starting line getting ready for the bmo vancouver marathon.

BMO Vancouver Marathon

BMO Vancouver Marathon is hosted by the local non-profit organization RUNVAN®, Vancouver’s exclusive marathon event provides an opportunity for “Stunning Running” experiences.

Featuring the RUN4HOPE charity program, participants can raise funds for social impact and community welfare.

2024 dates: The 2.5KM kids run takes place on Saturday, May 4th

The in-person marathon, half marathon, and 8KM races are on Sunday, May 5th.

Renowned bridge, aglow from end to end with a dynamic display of changing multi-color lights and gently sway high above the brilliantly illuminated Capilano River.

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge

Embark upon the globally acclaimed Capilano Suspension Bridge, illuminated from end to end by a dynamic display of changing multi-colour lights while gracefully swaying high above the illuminated Capilano River.

Operating hours for the park are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and guests are welcome to remain in the park for an additional hour beyond the closing time.

Admission includes access to Canyon Lights at no extra cost.

Price starts at $26.95.

2024 dates: February 2nd to February 25th.

capilano suspension bridge and grouse mountain tour banner for 2024

Festivals in Vancouver FAQ

What’s the best Vancouver summer festival?

For the best summer festival in Vancouver, I love the Khatsahlano Arts Festival – it perfectly combines the street party vibe with food, music, and other modern cultural phenomena without being pretentious or inaccessible.

What’s the best Vancouver festival in spring?

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is the city’s most iconic spring event. Exploring the city and experiencing these beautiful pink blooms is also a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors, and it’s free.

What’s the best Vancouver festival in winter?

The Vancouver Christmas Market has a long six-week season and gives Vancouverites an excuse to get outdoors in colder weather, with plenty of food and drink to warm them up.

What’s the best Vancouver festival in fall?

The Vancouver Diwali Festival is one of the most vibrant Vancouver festivals, and it does a great way of uniting the city’s many cultures through South Asian food, music, and dance.

Still Looking for the Best Vancouver Festivals?


I’ve compiled the key Vancouver festivals for 2024, but it’s quite likely that a few might have been overlooked.

If you’re looking for a festival with a more specific focus, feel free to reach out in the comments below.

I’m here to address every Vancouver festival question 🙂

Ash

I've lived in 5 countries and created content for travel websites like eDreams and Amex Essentials, but here I finally get to work my passion project - my hometown, Vancouver!

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