North Vancouver celebrates Car Free Day and its City Fun Festival on July 21-22, 2018, with DJ music, live entertainment and a giant water slide.
Car Free Fun City Festival
The Fun City Festival event happens in Lower Lonsdale and attracts tens of thousands of participants as well as up to 6000 sliders.
When and Where
Last year North Vancouver’s Car Free Day celebrations and Fun City Festival took place in mid-August. In 2018, however, the festivities happen on the Saturday and Sunday of July 21st and 22nd from 10 am until 6 pm both days.
Each year the event takes place in the Lower Lonsdale neighbourhood of North Vancouver between 8th Street and the Shipyards at the bottom of North Vancouver’s main Lonsdale Avenue.
The giant Slide the City water slide runs from Keith Road to 5th Street down the middle of Lonsdale Avenue. Most years there are also Car Free Day street-party activities between 4th Street and Esplanade.
Also, on the Saturday, there is additional live music from 5 until 10 pm at Shipbuilders’ Square at the Shipyards at the bottom of Lonsdale. In 2018 the headliner band there is Coco Jafro (who are really good)!
City Fun Festival Activities
Fun City Festival activities include the giant Slide the City water slide, a Car Free Day street party, kids’ activities at the Family Zone and live music at Shipbuilders’ Square.
Slide the City Water Slide
The biggest and most fun activity at the Fun City Festival is definitely the 1000-foot water slide that goes down Lonsdale Avenue between Keith Road and 5th Street.
The Fun City Festival is free but the water slide early-bird pricing ranges from $25-$45, plus online fees. After June 15 prices go up to $30-$50. The cost goes up another $5 starting on July 7, 2018. The prices depend on how often you hope to slide.
To buy tickets click Slide The City.
2018 Slide Prices
New for 2018, there are four kinds of sliding session tickets you can buy. There are the Triple Slider Morning, Triple Slider Afternoon, Wave Unlimited Morning and Wave Unlimited Afternoon sessions. The cost for each starts at between $20 (CAD) and $40, plus about $4 or so in online fees.
Triple Slider Morning and Triple Slider Afternoon tickets are good for three slides down. Early bird prices for each are $20 plus online fees. To encourage early sliders, morning participants get a complimentary tube to use, mouth guard and souvenir drawstring bag.
Wave Unlimited Morning and Wave Unlimited Afternoon ticket holders get to slide as much as they like (subject to waiting in lineups) for the afternoon.
Early bird prices for each are $20 plus online fees and, again to encourage early morning participants, the price includes a tube to use, mouth guard, and souvenir drawstring bag for morning sliders, plus a complimentary T-shirt!
Note: Inflatable tubes are available for purchase at the event. Also, sliding participants must be at least 5 years of age and 46+ inches in height.
Tips and Advice
Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most out of your Slide the City experience.
TIP #1: If you’re looking for cotton candy, chips or another snack, check out the vendor stall run by the local Kiwanis Club. It’s there most years and proceeds from items sold there benefit local charitable causes!
TIP #2: Book your slide tickets well in advance – doing so is cheaper and slide rides will likely sell out. Also, even though $40+ lets you ride all afternoon, it’s not unlimited riding – there will be lots of people so expect a fair bit of standing in line (including potentially up to a couple of hours at busy times!).
TIP #3: The slide closes down at 6 pm, so, because of the long lines, try to do your sliding earlier in the day and don’t wait until near the end.
TIP #4: If you like water slides then definitely check out the Cultus Lake Waterpark in the Fraser Valley. They are BC’s largest and are both reasonably-priced and impressive.
Car Free Day Street Party
North Vancouver’s Car Free Day Street Party starts just below the Slide the City water slide and continues along Lonsdale Avenue all the way down to Esplanade which is just a couple of blocks north of Lonsdale Quay and the SeaBus Terminal.
In addition to the giant water slide, all along Lonsdale Avenue are vendor stalls selling everything from food to clothing to all kinds of souvenirs.
Car Free Day activities on both the Saturday and Sunday include live music, DJ music, artisan vendors, food trucks, community organization information booths and a beer garden.
Main Stage Performances
Last year the Car Free Day Street Party’s Main Stage was located at the corner of Lonsdale Avenue and 1st Street. Performances during the festival in 2017 are listed below. It is unclear whether there will be similar entertainment in 2018 (other than what is scheduled to take place at the Shipyards).
Saturday, August 12, 2017
- 11:00 – 12:00 pm: DJ Good Spin
- 12:00 – 12:45 pm: Alex Maher
- 1:30 – 2:15 pm: The Tourist Company
- 3:00 – 4:00 pm: Peach Pit
- 4:40 – 5:30 pm: The Spillionaires
- 6:00 – 7:00 pm: Andrew Allen
Sunday, August 13, 2017
- 11:00 – 12:00 pm: DJ Good Spin
- 12:00 – 12:45 pm: Winsome Kind
- 1:30 – 2:30 pm: Krystle Dos Santos
- 3:00 – 4:00 pm: Adam Woodall Band
- 4:30 – 5:30 pm: Dirty Mike & the Boys
- 6:00 – 7:00 pm: The Boom Booms
Last year, as part of the Car Free Day celebrations, there was a Family Zone on West 1st Street by the John Braithwaite Community Centre. At the Family Zone there was kid-friendly live music, a climbing wall, crafts and other fun things for young families and children. The same activities are likely NOT happening there in 2018.
Shipbuilders’ Square Entertainment
Shipbuilders’ Square at the bottom of Lonsdale Avenue hosts free live music and a beer garden every Saturday evening in the summer. On the Saturday of the Fun City Festival in 2018 the concert of the week is with the band Coco Jafro and the music and entertainment runs all evening (from 5 until 10 pm).
Click Shipyards Summer Sessions Outdoor Concerts for information on live music events on other Saturday evenings in the summer.
The City of Vancouver also hosts Car Free Day events each year – on Denman Street, Main Street and Commercial Drive, as well as in Kitsilano – but in June and July. For information on these other events which are similar to the one in North Vancouver but without the water slide, click Metro Vancouver Car Free Days.
For more information on North Vancouver’s July Car Free Day event click Fun City Festival.
For a map of the Fun City Festival venue, click Fun City Map.