Vancouver Summer Events Guide Pt. 3

Comments 3 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Thanks to Translink, I found out about several community happenings next weekend and even though the public transit beast may just be trying to get into our good books, the redeeming part is… they’re absolutely free. If you’re a frequent reader of the blog you’ll notice the “cheap fun” and “cheap things to do” category for several posts I have here. We’re proud supporters of low-dough festivities in the GVRD and Saturday July 21 there is a plethora of good times happening around town.

  • Yaletown Street Party
  • The Heineken Yaletown Street Party is Vancouver’s Best Free Day of the Summer! Don’t miss live music all day, dj’s and street dancing, a hot rod show, celebrity chef chili cook-off battle of the bartenders, a dog agility show and BMX bike show.

  • Cambie Village Neighbourhood Appreciation
  • Dining Zone with tables, chairs, and live jazz by Kostas Roumeliotis Jazz Quartet, DaDeO Chili Tasting, Capers BBQ, Capers First Year Birthday Celebration, Poema Flamenco guitar and dancers at noon, Fashion show by Shop Cocoon at 2pm, Percussion music by Kutapira at 3pm, Kid Zone sponsored by Choices, face painting, craft tables, balloon animal, clowns, popcorn and balloons, ice-cream, drinks, and more.

  • Oakridge Summer Sun and Salsa
  • Entertainment, food, fashion and hopefully sun! Dance alongside the Cuban band, Miguel Valdes y Puro Son, and Julio Montero and his Cuban Salsa Dancers, performing on stage from 1:00 to 3:00pm. Enjoy roving entertainers, a chili cook off, children’s activities, and much more. All activities will take place outside in the Oakridge Plaza at Cambie and 41st from noon to 4:00pm.

  • Downtown Granville Summer Sizzle
  • I can’t find more info about this event at the url given but I’m sure it will have more of the same… food, music etc. Although you can read about even more events throughout the rest of year at this portion of the website.

    There will be FREE shuttles between all of these events, and if you’re not going to be in or around the downtown core, Cambie Village or Oakridge, you may want to take in Gay Day at Playland, also happening July 21st.

    Wear a RED SHIRT and stand out from the crowd! Support the VPS and show your Pride! Drag out all your favourite family, friends and, yes, even the kids, to this unique event at Playland. Spend the day @ Playland, and when the clock strikes four, come to the Queer-coustic stage and enjoy the live entertainment that’s being DRAAAGGED out just for you.

    If you’re still looking for something to do, try heading out to Swangard for some Women’s White Caps action that evening when our championship ladies play the Real Colorado Cougars – tickets starting at $16 or check out Tourism Vancouver’s 100 Days of Summer guide for more festivities of all kinds throughout the season.

    Update: Another cool, free event happening before next weekend is the Tour de Gastown, Wednesday July 18th. Aside from the men’s and women’s races there is also BMX demos, kids play areas and obstacle courses, and various other activities. You can read more about these bicycle racing and festival-style events on Ryan’s Metroblogging entry or visit

    Two Girls, 2 Dogs, Lots of Sand

    Comments 2 by Rebecca Bollwitt

    In this new age of Facebook, talking to other bloggers, we’ve all noticed that traffic seems a little slower than it used to be. Well either I blame Facebook or the sun, because who wants to be inside on a day like today? I think it was Corinna who told me I just need to post my boobs and I’ll have instant traffic. Well, not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just don’t think it’s style…. except… there was this one time when I wrote about how a photo I took of Tod Maffin began to outrank my own bikini photo on my Flickr account. It had to do with the fact that it was from Northern Voice, and nothing against Tod at all, it just struck me as funny.

    Well, on a nice sunny beach day like this, I’m going to do it – I’m going to post another bikini photo and this time… there’s another girl in the photo as well. Happy Weekend.

    Photo credit: Keira on Flickr (Read Keira’s write up about our day)

    Beach Girls

    Although this isn’t nearly as courageous as Corinna’s venture across the Cambie Bridge – that is awesome.

    Vancouver Fireworks – the Celebration of Light

    Comments 14 by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Photo credit: uncleweed on Flickr

    Love’em or hate’em, the HSBC Celebration of Light fireworks nights are back for another go this summer. It’s outdoors, it’s midsummer and it’s free, not sure how much better things can get except for the fact that you’re sharing this experience with one million other people on the shores of English Bay.

    The world’s leading fireworks manufacturers consider the HSBC Celebration of Light international fireworks competition to be the most prestigious events of its kind in the world and an exciting arena where they can unveil the latest pyro-musical techniques and the most innovative fireworks materials. [Celebration of Light]

    To observe the spectacle this year park your beach blanket early to reserve a good vantage point and pick your night to go check them out.

  • Wednesday, July 25 — Spain
  • Saturday, July 28 — Canada
  • Wednesday, August 1 — China
  • Saturday, August 4 — Grande Finale
  • Each show is approximately 25 minutes and is centered around a barge floating off the shore in English Bay. They can be viewed from various vantage points from English Bay, Vanier Park, Jericho Beach, out in the water if you have a boat, and the photo below was taken from Cypress Mountain. The event used to be called the “Symphony of Fire” because each presentation is actually put to music that you can turn into on ROCK 101, which you can still tune in and listen to.

    Remember this is a competition afterall, so beginning this year spectators get the chance to vote for their favourite display via text message.

    New this year, YOU can participate in the voting for the HSBC Celebration of Light using your mobile phone! Text LIGHT to 24365 to register. Upon registering, you will receive a text message after each of the 3 competition nights asking you to rate the performance for that evening. Audience text votes each night will be tabulated and submitted as the 7th official judge. [Text to Vote]

    Photo credit: uncleweed on Flickr

    The whole ‘controversy’ stems from residents downtown and in Kits being annoyed by the crowds and noise, although every negative blog post I read about the fireworks last year doesn’t just complain about hundreds of thousands of people – no – they complain that they are coming from the suburbs. (I’ll hold my tongue on that one…) I also hear it’s not the best for the environment with the smoke and loud noise killing little baby birdies’ eardrums. Aside from all of that… it seems to be great for businesses downtown and fun for the whole family.

    I’ve experienced the fireworks as a child. We’d drive out to Kits from Surrey in the family van and have a picnic on the beach. Finding that perfect rock to balance on and watch the display took a little time. And 10 minutes later the tide was in and my butt would be sore so I’d retire up the hill a bit to the blanket my mom had laid out. [Miss604, 2006]

    Last year we met up with Dave O [uncleweed][Canucks Outsider] and his clan for a picnic on a grassy hill and enjoyed a summer sunset. I don’t miss my days of Skytraining back home after the fireworks waiting for hours in a transit mosh pit since the walk back home through the West End is pretty painless – you only have to play Frogger a few times.

    Little Other Chilliwacks

    Comments 4 by Rebecca Bollwitt

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – when you get Iowa, Chilliwack and Surrey together, you know it’s going to be a rip-roaring good time. We had so much fun tonight in fact, I’m going to share a few tidbits. Although honestly, I bet none of this will be as funny in the morning…

    Iowa and Chilliwack knew Alabama, Surrey didn’t but it’s now blogged. I feel dirty.

    Duane told us about this ride months ago, I think it was outside of Cottonwood Mall in Chilliwack… seriously…

    I’ve never made an obligatory post about cats or kitties, but these will have to do.

    Miss604 Poll: How About That Weather, Eh

    Comments 10 by Rebecca Bollwitt

    West Coast Sunset – Duane Storey

    It’s what we do in Vancouver, we talk about the weather. How much rain we had last week, how many rainfall records we broke, there was once a glimpse of sunshine in March where crocuses popped up but then were covered by frost the next morning… So in this spirit, I have a poll below.

    Regardless of if you’re in heaven or feel like this is hell on earth, get out and enjoy this rain-free weather. Whether it be in the shade or soaking up the rays. – oh but bring your laptop with you so that you can read this and contribute to the poll, of course.


    …and if you are staying inside, hiding from our long-lost friend, Mr. Sun – enjoy some minisodes, your fave 80s tv shows sliced down into perfect 6 minute episodes, good times.

    Playland Throwback

    Comments 4 by Rebecca Bollwitt

    I was checking out Beyond Robson the other morning, and for some strange reason I decided to look at the rest of the site and not just Morning Brew. I came across a post about the best not-so-secret locations in the city to get cheeky with your sweetheart, in this edition they tackled Playland.

    The Scrambler, The Enterprise, and The Wild Mouse are great choices, but there are many other options!… …While you’re on the rides (though you may not be able to kiss) you’ve always got your hands free! And after you get off, you can find a quiet spot behind the food and games stalls to get a little closer. [BeyondRobson]

    Those are all great choices except the last suggestion because everyone knows that every hidden corner, flower box and bench at Playland reeks of vomit.

    The note about the Wild Mouse got me thinking about how Playland used to be. We went last year for the first time in a while and it was quite different. So here are a couple things I miss about the Playland and the PNE.

  • The lumberjack competitions – nothing says outdoor summer fun like log rolling.
  • The HUGE relief map of BC – this was in the BC building which I think is now a mini-lake in the middle of the grounds. That building has awesome little stalls where a nerdy kid like me could get buttons, stickers, visit the stamp collectors’ tables, learn about BC, and watch mini boats race around mini pools.
  • The Big Gulp – this roller coaster was awesome, my brother and sister always went on it and I was always too short so I think I only got one season with it before it disappeared.
  • The buttons – I have PNE buttons dating back to 1980, they just don’t seem to hand them out anymore so my collection is incomplete, stopping at around 1998. “Come Fun With Us!” Ya know… I never really got that saying.
  • Day at the PNE So there are a few things I miss about Playland and the PNE, some things I could do without are all the video games and that march of overly happy tweens dancing around to a 1 minute song on loop that they call a parade.

    However, the kids still have fun, and I suppose that’s the purpose eh? My sister told me that the other day my nephew loved some of the rides so much, he just wouldn’t get off when they stopped. Luckily it was a slow evening so they allowed him to keep riding the boats and little cars to his heart’s content.

    We’ll see if Playland can do it for me this year, its saving grace being the old wooden roller coaster, the Enterprise, a couple of the new ‘flip you upside down and give you whiplash’ rides, and the pig races – hehe pig races!