Things to do in Vancouver on the August long weekend

by Akeena Legall

The August long weekend feels like the final chance to catch the fleeting moments of summer. Long sunsets, patio loungin’ and the radio playing your favourite summer jam are all things that seem extra special this weekend. If you want to add more to your summer memories, here are things you can enjoy during the August long weekend in Vancouver. [Photo courtesy of Tourism Vancouver/Dannielle Hayes]

Things to do in Vancouver on the August long weekend

Honda Celebration of Light

The only thing better than being under the night sky with friends is when it’s bright with erupting fireworks. The Honda Celebration of Light is Vancouver’s international pyrotechnic competition, and has attracted thousands of festival-goers since 2001. The event has seen participation from United Kingdom, Japan, China and other countries. Cheer on the home team – Canada will be closing out this year’s competition on the Saturday of the August long weekend.

  • When: Saturday August 5th at dusk
  • Where: Vantage points include Second Beach, English Bay and Kitsilano Beach

Harmony Arts Festival

The Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver has all the makings of a good hangout session: live music, arts and craft fairs and free outdoor film screenings. The event spans from Ambleside Park and up 14th Street to John Lawson Park. Make sure to bring your own lawn chair to kick back and watch films like Hidden Figures, Jurassic Park and Zootopia. You can also scope out musical talent like Warren Dean Flandez, Dawn Pemberton, Jackson Hollow and Redeye Empire.

  • When: Friday August 4th to Sunday August 13th
  • Where: Various spots across West Vancouver

Shipyards Summer Sessions

Lower Lonsdale is where you want to head if you’re into free outdoor concerts; the Quay is where it’s at for North Van’s Shipyards Summer Sessions Saturday concerts, taking place in Shipbuilder’s Square. The August long weekend welcomes Mike Henry to the stage to put on an amazing show consisting of Ray Charles and James Brown tributes. If you can't get enough of North Van, make sure that you’re at the Quay for the Shipyards Night Market on Friday, which features tons of craft beer, vendors and more live music.

  • When: Saturday August 5th from 7 pm to 10 pm
  • Where: Lonsdale Quay

Vancouver Pride Festival

Vancouver’s West End is the heart of Vancouver’s LGBTQ2+ community and is encircled by Stanley Park and kilometres of beautiful sandy beaches. It makes it the perfect spot for Vancouver’s Pride, which includes the Davie Street Party, Vancouver Dyke March and Festival, Sunset Beach Festival and Pride Parade. Get decked out in your brightest rainbow colours and celebrate the equality of love.

  • When: Friday August 4th to Sunday August 6th
  • Where: Various spots across Vancouver

Playland

Playland is East Vancouver’s famous amusement park; there’s nothing quite like cotton candy, the smell of sizzlin’ corn dogs and a clear blue sky over towering rides and rollercoasters to cement the feeling of summer. Check it out with friends or family to see county fair curios and jaw-dropping rides alike.

Powell Street Festival

Powell Street is Vancouver’s historic Japanese neighbourhood and home to the Powell Street Festival, an annual event – that has spanned more than four decades – celebrating Japanese arts and culture. This year’s festival programming includes artists and entertainers like the Japanese/Australian duo George & Noriko and Californian Jodaiko.

  • When: Saturday August 5th and Sunday August 6th from 11:30 am to 7 pm
  • Where: Oppenhemier Park and Firehall Arts Centre
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