UBC Apple Festival

Vancouver’s Apple Festival is UBC Botanical Garden’s biggest fundraising event. It features live entertainment and lots of tasty apples to buy and sample.

 

UBC Botanical Garden Apple Festival

In 2020 the UBC Apple Festival was scheduled to take place on the Saturday and Sunday of October 17th and 18th. However, the event was cancelled because of COVID-19. Although the festival was no longer happening, people could still order apples online and pick them up on the festival dates. 2021 details are to be determined.

Each year the venue is at the UBC Botanical Garden which is located at 6804 SW Marine Drive on the University of British Columbia campus.

The UBC Botanical Garden is a recommended place to visit in Vancouver, especially between mid-October and mid-November with all of its fall colours. There’s even more to see than usual during the Apple Festival. It’s not a huge festival, but a nice one to complement a visit to the garden.

 

People at UBC's Apple Festival
UBC Apple Festival (Photo by Chloe Sirges)

 

About the Apple Festival

Attracting over 15,000 people in years when the weather is good, the annual UBC Apple Festival takes place on the weekend after Thanksgiving (or at least it does in years when there isn’t a pandemic).

The two-day event usually runs from 11 am to 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Entertainment includes child-friendly shows, dancing and all kinds of music. Furthermore, there are dozens of apples to sample and buy and even apple trees for sale. All proceeds go to UBC Botanical Garden.

 

Admission to the Festival

Admission to the event is usually only about $5 but free for children ages 12 and under. This is a fabulous deal considering that regular admission to the UBC Botanical Garden this time of year is about $10 for adults, around $8 for seniors and youth, and $5 for children ages 3-12.

Not only do you get admission for close to half price or even free (for young kids), but you get the extra event activities included!

Moreover, you can enter the Apple Tasting Tent and sample different varieties of the fruit for an additional $5. Most other activities (outside of buying things) are included in the price of admission.

 

UBC Apple Festival Tree Sales Station
Apple trees for sale (Photo by Chloe Sirges)

 

Apple Festival Activities

There are lots to see and do at the UBC Botanical Garden’s Apple Festival, not least of which is the opportunity to wander around the botanical gardens. They are especially beautiful with their fall colours.

Activities specific to the Apple Festival include the apple tasting, which features about five dozen different kinds of BC-grown apples. Being a fundraiser, there are also apples for purchase – some 50,000 pounds of them in fact – as well as a variety of apple trees for sale too. There is also an interesting market with other things for sale and live entertainment.

 

Apple Festival Trees for Sale
(Photo by Chloe Sirges)

 

Entertainment Schedule

Performances that took place at the UBC Apple Festival in 2019 included the following. We expect 2021 details to be comparable.

 

West Entrance Small Stage

Saturday, October 19th (2019)

  • 11:00 to 11:30 am – Anthony Blackman (steel drums)
  • 12:00 to 12:45 pm – Michael and Micki-Lee (Celtic music)
  • 1:00 to 1:45 pm – The Brian Robertson Band (local music)
  • 2:00 to 2:45 pm – The Little Mountain Trio (mixed music styles)
  • 3:00 to 3:45 pm – Just Duets (local music sung in duets)

Sunday, October 20th (2019)

  • 11:00 to 11:30 am – Anthony Blackman (steel drums)
  • 12:00 to 12:45 pm – Route 9 (family-friendly music)
  • 1:00 to 1:45 pm – Leah and Mark (musical storytelling)
  • 2:00 to 2:45 pm – Maria Ho (music and dance)
  • 3:00 to 3:45 pm – Sangre Morena (Latin American songs)

 

Moongate Tunnel

Saturday, October 19th (2019)

  • 11:30 am to 3:30 pm – Rebecca Blair (harp)

Sunday, October 20th (2019)

  • 11:30 am to 3:30 pm – Judy Henry (harp)

 

Great Lawn Main Stage

Saturday, October 19th (2019)

  • 11:20 to 11:45 am – Tidley Cove Morris Dancers (music and dance)
  • 12:00 to 12:45 pm – JES (mixed music styles)
  • 1:00 to 1:45 pm – Blackthorn (Celtic, English and French music)
  • 2:00 to 2:45 pm – The Wheat in the Barley (mixed musical styles)
  • 3:00 to 3:45 pm – Tom and Ellen (country-style music)

Sunday, October 20th (2019)

  • 11:20 to 11:45 am – Morris Men Dancers (music and dance)
  • 12:00 to 12:45 pm – The Lawless Firm (Gypsy Jazz-style music)
  • 1:00 to 1:45 pm – Fraser Union (folk music)
  • 2:00 to 2:45 pm – The Hot Teas and Spandy Andy (a cappella music and dance)
  • 3:00 to 3:45 pm – Early Spirit (mixed musical styles)

 

Children’s Area

Saturday, October 19th (2019)

  • 12:00 to 12:30 pm – Anthony Blackman (steel drums)
  • 12:30 to 1:00 pm – Storytelling
  • 1:00 to 1:30 pm – Tidley Cove Morris Dancers (music and dance)
  • 2:00 to 2:30 pm – Anthony Blackman (steel drums)
  • 2:30 to 3:00 pm – Storytelling
  • 3:00 to 3:30 pm – Anthony Blackman (steel drums)

Sunday, October 20th (2019)

  • 12:00 to 12:30 pm – Anthony Blackman (steel drums)
  • 12:30 to 1:00 pm – Storytelling
  • 1:00 to 1:30 pm – Morris Men Dancers (music and dance)
  • 2:00 to 2:30 pm – Anthony Blackman (steel drums)
  • 2:30 to 3:00 pm – Storytelling
  • 3:00 to 3:30 pm – Anthony Blackman (steel drums)

 

Advice and Suggestions

Below are some tips and information to help you make the most out of your visit to the UBC Apple Festival.

TIP #1: If you’ve never been to UBC Botanical Garden but want to, then check out this event! The fall colours are beautiful, admission is discounted and it’s a fabulous time to visit.

TIP #2: The apple sampling venue sells out so don’t wait until the end of the day to buy your tickets. Get them early!

TIP #3: Parking close by can be a challenge but a free shuttle bus is available most years starting at 9:30 am between the venue and both UBC’s Fraser River Parkade and Campus West Parkade.

 

Best Places in Autumn

 

Other Information

For more information on the gardens, see UBC Botanical Garden.

Check out the Apple Festival website for additional details on the festival.

For ideas on other things to do in autumn, click Vancouver Fall Activities or October or November in Vancouver’s Best Places’ calendar.