Last year I didn’t get out to every festival, parade, or community event however the ones I did attend like the West End’s Block Party were pretty darn fun. Over on Commercial Drive they’ve been closing off the road and celebrating the community on foot (for a single day without vehicles) for several years.
In 2005, the Commercial Drive Festival launched the first community- driven Car-Free Festival in Vancouver. The Festival was wholly volunteer-organized and presented, involving over 30 core organizers and 300 volunteers. It was an enormous success, bringing over 25,000 people out to celebrate the community and party in the street. Since then, the Festival happened in 2006 and twice in the summer of 2007, snowballing in popularity and attracting up to 40,000 people per day. [Car Free Day – About]
For a personal account, check out DaveO’s podcast from Commercial Drive last year.
The Commercial Drive event has been such a success that they’ve expanded to several other neighbourhoods across the city for 2008:
Cambie Street, Kitsilano, Main Street, Marpole, and the West End.
Although the city-wide festival is months away, organizing committees for each neighbourhood are currently meeting. You can get involved by attending a meetup for your block, hosting your own party in one of the neighbourhoods, or if your part of town isn’t covered check out the block party toolkit.