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Car Free Day New West on Columbia Street in New Westminster

New West Car Free Day

A fairly new event in Metro Vancouver, Car Free Day New West is a free summer block party with food, drinks, music and other activities in New Westminster.

The second annual edition of the event took place on July 29th in 2023. The date for the event in 2024 is still to be confirmed.

Other awesome events that happen around this time of year are the Honda Celebration of Light fireworks competition, Chilliwack RibfestMaple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Country Fest and Coquitlam’s Caribbean Days Festival. All of these other events are free! Also on the same weekend as the Car Free Day New West this past year was the Fireworks Boat Party in Vancouver, amusement rides at the Playland and baseball games at Nat Bailey Stadium with the Vancouver Canadians (where the Saturday was Fireworks Night).

The day before Car Free Day New West, on the Friday evening, there is also the Shipyards Night Market, which, as some would argue, is the best night market in the Lower Mainland.

To learn more about all of the above events, see Vancouver’s July Calendar of Events. To learn more about Car Free Day in New Westminster, however, continue reading.


This article contains the following information about Car Free Day New West:

Time and Location | What to ExpectOther Information


Celebration of Lights Boat Parties


New Westminster’s Car Free Day

There are a number of Car Free Days that take place throughout the Lower Mainland each summer. They are free and fun community events that offer the chance to enjoy music and activities on a street with no vehicles.

Car Free Day New West is no exception to that trend! This new event took place for the first time on August 6th in 2022. There were multiple stages set up on the road with various performances as well as artisan vendors, kid-friendly activities and a beer garden. There were also plenty of food trucks.

This event served as the new version of what was formerly the Columbia StrEAT Food Festival. While food trucks are still a key piece of Car Free Day New West’s lineup, this new event is a bit broader in its scope.


Car Free Day on Columbia Street
Columbia Street on Car Free Day


Time and Location

Car Free Day New West took place on Saturday, July 29th in 2023.

Last year’s event began at noon and ran until 8:00 pm. The festivities took place over a four-block stretch of Columbia Street, between 4th Street and 8th Street. 2023’s event was likely in format.

The event is entirely free and open to all. On both ends of the event’s boundaries there are blockades on the road that prevent cars from entering the street. Inside the festival area people can walk around on the road as much as they like!


Celebration of Light Fireworks


What to Expect

At the time of writing, as of mid-July, 2023, full details for the event had not yet been released. What we do know is that there would have be plenty of entertainment to enjoy on multiple stages spread across the event site. There would have also be other activities.

Car Free Day New West is designed for those of all ages. You can expect to see activities like face painting for the little ones, and both kids and adults dancing. For those who are ages 19+ there is a beer garden with beverages from various breweries to enjoy.


Columbia Street from the Main Stage
Bo Henrik Band at Car Free Day


Columbia StrEAT Food Festival

Up until the pandemic began, the Columbia StrEAT Food Festival was a big annual event that took place in the same neighbourhood where Car Free Day New West is now. The festival contained a large number of food trucks accompanied by live music on various stages.

That same sort of vibe is present at Car Free Day as there are plenty of food trucks at the new event as well. Car Free Day is a spiritual successor to the StrEAT Food Festival. The difference is that there is a wider range of entertainment to enjoy.


Other Information

For more information about the event, visit the Car Free Day New West website.

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