North Vancouver celebrates Car Free Day and its City Fun Festival on July 13-14, 2019, with DJ music, live entertainment and a giant water slide.
This year’s early-bird tickets go on sale from April 1st to 30th in 2019.
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
A couple of years ago North Vancouver’s Car Free Day celebrations and Fun City Festival took place in mid-August. Since last year, however, the festivities happen on a Saturday and Sunday in mid-July. In 2019 it’s on the weekend of July 13th and 14th from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm both days.
The giant Slide the City water slide runs from Keith Road to 5th Street down the middle of Lonsdale Avenue. A few years ago there were also Car Free Day street-party activities between 4th Street and Esplanade, but not this year.
Also, on the Saturday, there is usually additional live music from around 5:00 until 10:00 pm at Shipbuilders’ Square at the Shipyards at the bottom of Lonsdale. In 2018 the headliner band there was Coco Jafro (who are really good)! 2019 details are to be confirmed.
City Fun Festival Activities
Fun City Festival activities in past years have included 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. In 2019 there will be the water slide, plus likely the live music at the Shipyards in the evening.
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.
To buy tickets click Slide The City.
2019 Slide Prices
Slide the City sliding prices in 2019 are the following:
Early Bird Rates (available from April 1st to April 30th)
- Half-Day Unlimited Slide Passes – $20
- All-Day Unlimited Slide Passes – $30
Regular Rates (available from May 1st until July 12th)
- Half-Day Unlimited Slide Passes – $30
- All-Day Unlimited Slide Passes –$50
Tickets on the Day at the Gate (July 13th & 14th)
- Half-Day Unlimited Slide Passes – $40
- All-Day Unlimited Slide Passes – $60
Morning half-day sessions run from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. Afternoon half-day sessions run from 2:00 until 6:00 pm.
Inflatable tubes are provided for use at no additional charge in 2019. There is also a shuttle bus that takes riders who don’t want to walk back up the hill.
Note: Sliding participants must be at least 5 years of age and 44+ inches in height.
For comparison, last year there were four kinds of sliding session tickets you could buy. There were the Triple Slider Morning and Triple Slider Afternoon tickets which were each good for three slides down. There were also the Wave Unlimited Morning and Wave Unlimited Afternoon sessions which allowed ticket holders to slide as much as they liked (subject to waiting in lineups) during their respective times. In 2019, however, only hall-day and full-day unlimited options are available.
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 often sell out.
TIP #3: Even though tickets are for “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 peak times!).
TIP #4: The slide closes down at 6:00 pm, so, because of the long lines, get in the queue for your last trip well before that.
TIP #5: For most folk, half a day of sliding is likely enough. If you pay for a full day though you can take a break, relax and then go back for more as you please.
TIP #6: You save a lot by purchasing your tickets in April. The drawback though is you won’t be able to predict the weather. The event runs rain or shine and there are no refunds. If it’s cold or rains though, at least the lineups will be less than if it’s hot and sunny.
TIP #7: 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
Up until a couple of years ago, North Vancouver’s Car Free Day Street Party started just below the Slide the City water slide and continued 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 there were vendor stalls selling everything from food to clothing to all kinds of souvenirs. Car Free Day activities included live music, DJ music, artisan vendors, food trucks, community organization information booths and a beer garden.
In 2019 there are still a small number of food trucks, and possibly a community organization booth or two. The focus, however, is now primarily just on the water slide.
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 in Kitsilano in June– as well as on Commercial Drive in 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 see the City of North Vancouver‘s website.
For a map of the Fun City Festival venue, click Fun City Map.