Summer may be peak season in Vancouver, but a full calendar of free events means a lot less stress on your wallet once you arrive in this idyllic coastal city. Moreover, many of these festivals highlight Vancouver’s distinct international flavor and diverse population that makes it so unique.
Starting this weekend, the Rio Alcan Dragon Boat Festival on June 15-17 draws 100,000 spectators for multi-cultural food, music, and dance performances, as well as the signature boat race.
At the International Jazz Festival taking place June 22-July 1, many of the 150 concerts are free, including performances downtown at the Vancouver Art Gallery and on Granville Island at the Public Market.
Vancouver celebrates its history on Canada Day (July 1) with music, art, a parade, and a fireworks display.
Other countries compete for Vancouver’s love during the Celebration of Light fireworks spectacular July 28 and August 1 and 4. Spectators will be treated to amazing displays sponsored by Vietnam, Brazil, and Italy.
Nearby Victoria turns 150 on August 2 this year, and is feting the anniversary with a public party highlighting the city’s past, present, and future.
Wrap up the season at the Powell Street Festival on August 4-5, which honors the city’s Japanese-Canadian heritage with sumo wrestling demonstrations, traditional food and music, and contemporary film.
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