The River District is a neighbourhood in South Vancouver where a variety of community events and mini festivals take place at different times of the year.
Because of COVID-19, few if any events happened in 2021. A number of events happened in 2022, however, and more is expected in 2023. Exact details, however, are to be confirmed.
This article contains information about the following River District events:
Click on any of the above links to jump to a specific topic, or continue reading to learn all about River District Vancouver’s various events.
Events at River District Vancouver
Community events and activities are always taking place at River District Vancouver. At various locations, especially at the community centre, there are workshops, yoga sessions, fitness classes, kids’ activities and other fun things to do throughout the year.
Larger events at the River District include Lunar New Year celebrations with Chinese lion dancing in winter, a Golden Egg Hunt Easter event in the spring and Savour Summer Festival events in the summer. In the past there have also been outdoor Drive-in Movie Nights in the fall (but not since 2018).
In 2020 and 2021 most events were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the River District did host a few events in 2022.
Lunar New Year at the River District
River District Vancouver hosts special Lunar New Year activities in years when there aren’t global pandemics. 2021 was the Year of the Ox. 2022 was the Year of the Tiger. 2023 is the year of the Rabbit.
The event in 2020 took place in two parts. The first was from 11:00 am until 12:15 pm at the River District Town Centre at the corner of River District Crossing and Sawmill Crescent. The celebrations started up again at 1:00 pm and ran until 3 o’clock at the River District Neighbourhood Centre which can be found at 8683 Kerr Street.
River District Vancouver’s second annual Lunar New Year event began with a traditional Chinese lion dance performance at the Town Centre at 11 o’clock. After the lions did their performance they visited and blessed the various retailers. Also at the event, Everything Wine shared drink samples in-store while TD, Westminster Savings and other retailers provided fortune cookies, lucky red envelopes and more.
At the afternoon part of the event, which ran from 1:00 until 3:00 pm at the River District Neighbourhood Centre, there was more lion dancing as well as Tai Chi demonstrations.
We estimate that up to a couple of hundred people attended the morning outdoor part of the event in 2019 and slightly fewer attended the afternoon event at the community centre. 2019 was the first time River District hosted its Lunar New Year celebrations. Assuming good weather, because of the success and quality of the event last year, we expect even larger crowds in future years.
In both cases, the 2019 lion dancing lasted for about 20 minutes or so. We attended both events and really enjoyed them.
Chinese Lunar New Year Lion Dancing Video
To get an idea of what to expect at the Lunar New Year event, check out the following video. It was taken at the event at River District Town Centre last year.
As you’ll see, the lion dancing is both impressive and lots of fun. It’s also entertaining for people of all ages. After this part of the performance the lions then process around the neighbourhood and bless the area merchants and places of business.
Easter at the River District
Another great event we’ve enjoyed at the River District is the annual Golden Egg Hunt which takes place on Easter Sunday in the spring at both the River District Neighbourhood Centre and in the Town Centre most years.
There probably wasn’t a formal Easter event in 2021 because of COVID-19.
In years when it does take place, the Easter event is free and open to the public. People can just show up! That being said, the actual Golden Egg Hunt itself takes place at set times, and, to participate, advanced registration is required. Spaces are limited, so if you want a golden egg be sure to sign up early when the event is scheduled!
The River District Neighbourhood Centre is located at 8683 Kerr Street and the Town Centre is at 8540 River District Crossing.
The Golden Egg Hunt takes place indoors at the Neighbourhood Centre, but the face painting and other Easter activities happen outside. In the Town Centre there is also usually a bouncy castle, face painting station, balloon animal makers, crafts, caricature artists, free hot drinks and other activities.
Savour Summer Festival
Most summers River District Vancouver hosts three or so community events that are free and open to the public – the Savour Summer Festivals. They didn’t happen in 2020 because of the coronavirus, and they likely didn’t take place again in 2021. Hopefully they’ll be back in 2022.
Savour Summer Festival Events in 2019
A couple of years ago the Savour Summer Festivals took place on the Saturdays of July 13th, August 10th and September 7th in the River District’s Town Centre near the Starbucks at 8540 River District Crossing. Each event had a different theme and host sponsor.
To give you an idea of what to expect in future events, below are the activity schedules from the events in 2019.
Saturday, July 13th, 2019
The July 13th event in 2019 featured the following performers:
- 2:00 pm – Cory Owens: a local guitarist and singer
- 2:45 pm – Shine Davine: an acrobat and juggler
- 3:45 pm – Yeeri The Magician: a children’s entertainer, magician and puppeteer
- 5:15 pm – The Oot n’ Oots: a group of child-friendly musicians
At the July 13th event there was also a bouncy castle as well as face painting, craft opportunities and balloon animals for kids. There was also an opportunity to dunk various superheroes into a dunk tank (by donation with proceeds benefiting a local charity).
Saturday, August 10th, 2019
The August 10th event featured the following live entertainment lineup:
- 2:00 pm – Kutapira: a popular Vancouver band that plays Reggae, Funk, Hip-Hop and various Afro-Cuban tunes.
- 3:00 pm – Cory Owens: a local guitarist and singer.
- 3:30 pm – Shine Divine: a circus-style performer who does juggling and acrobatics.
- 5:15 pm – The Boom Booms: a great Vancouver-based Alt-Indie Band.
Activities at the event on August 10th also included mini-golf and bean bag toss games, a super hero dunk tank, food trucks and a cupcake station.
Saturday, September 7th, 2019
The September 7th event included live music with The Katherines (which is a local Indie trio), plus a magic show, balloon animals, face painting and free cupcakes.
The entertainment schedule at this final Savour Summer Festival event of the year was the following:
- 2:00 pm – Yeeri the Magician: a talented and award-winning local entertainer.
- 3:00 pm – Kutapira: the popular Vancouver-based band returned for its second round of music at the River District in 2019.
- 4:00 pm – Gina Lina: an award-winning children’s entertainer.
- 5:15 pm – The Katherines: an Indie Pop band.
Previous Savour Summer Festival Events
A couple of years ago there were four Savour Summer Festival events. One of them in 2018 was a wine and cheese event and another had a definite kids-focus. The third was a community BBQ and the final one was a block party.
The events in previous years have generally been fairly popular. At one of them there was a huge turnout with hundreds of young families and their children. The others were smaller events, but still lots of fun.
Other River District Events
In years when there isn’t a global pandemic, other events take place at the River District from time to time. Activities like yoga happen regularly, as do other fitness and community centre kinds of events. Larger special events also take place at certain times of the year. For example, the River District Oktoberfestival was a community event in early October last year.
The Oktoberfestival took place at Vancouver’s River District Neighbourhood Centre at 8683 Kerr Street on October 5th in 2019 between 1:00 and 4:00 pm. It was a free event featuring kid-friendly crafts and festive German-themed music.
Below is the schedule for the Oktoberfestival in 2019:
- 1:00 pm – Rheinland Oompah Pah Band
- 2:00 pm – Live Science Show by Science World
- 3:00 pm – The Carnival Band
Other activities throughout the event included balloon twisting, crafts and snacks.
For more information about the neighbourhood, click River District Vancouver.
For a list of other events and things to do in Metro Vancouver, check out the following:
- Vancouver’s July Events Calendar
- Vancouver’s August Events Calendar
- Vancouver’s September Events Calendar
- Lower Mainland Festivals & Events (for a list of major events throughout the year)
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Vancouver for Children
- Vancouver Summer Activities