Vancouver’s West End Car Free Day takes place on Denman Street between Robson Street and Davie Street on the Saturday before Father’s Day in June each year.
EVENT CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19
On April 13th, 2020, the organizers of the Denman Street Car Free Day event announced that, out of concern for people’s health and the coronavirus pandemic, the street party will not be taking place as planned in 2020. They hope to offer some kind of online activities instead, but no actual in-person event. The same is the case with Car Free Day events on Main Street and Commercial Drive in 2020.
West End Car Free Street Party
The West End Car Free Day event is a massive and vibrant FREE street party which in 2020 was going to take place on Saturday, June 20, from noon until 7 pm.
See below for information on Vancouver’s various Car Free Day events, and scroll further down for information on the Denman Street event specifically.
Car Free Entertainment Lineup
At the Car Free Day event on Denman Street there are food and product vendors, but also live entertainment.
Concerts and other entertainment typically take place on three different stages. One stage is by Robson Street (at the north end of Denman), one is at Nelson Street (halfway down Denman) and a third stage is near the corner of Davie and Denman (at the south end of the festival not far from English Bay Beach).
For an idea of what to expect, below is the entertainment lineup from 2018 on the various stages. (Note: times and performer details are subject to change.)
Robson Street Stage (in 2018)
- 12:15 pm – Body Party (a dance party DJ duo)
- 1:15 pm – Mamarudegyal (a KRUMP Dancer)
- 2:15 pm – Softishan (a resident DJ from the Fox)
- 3:15 pm – Missy D (a Hip-Hop, Rap and Soul musician who is also performing at the Celebration of Lights fireworks event at Second Beach later in the summer)
- 4:15 pm – The House of the Brave (“a local drag person” and “mischief-maker”)
- 5:15 pm – Apollo (a music producer and graphic designer)
- 6:15 pm – Bratpack (“Vancouver’s premiere girl gang”)
Nelson Street Stage (in 2018)
- 12:15 pm – Reggae Yoga
- 1:15 pm – West End Belly Dancers
- 2:15 pm – The Phonix (a nine-member Funk & Soul group)
- 3:15 pm – Tank Gyal (a Vancouver DJ)
- 4:15 pm – Tapco (the Vancouver Tap Dance Society’s Youth Performance Ensemble)
- 5:15 pm – Strictly Afrobeats (a group of Afrobeat musicians)
- 6:15 pm – Tambura Rasa (a multicultural music and dance group)
Davie Street Stage (in 2018)
- 12:15 pm – DJ music with Niña Mendoza
- 1:15 pm – Una Mey (a Pop, Electronic, and R&B musician)
- 2:15 pm – Diana Boss (a dance music duo)
- 3:15 pm – Giorgi Holiday (an R&B and Neo-Soul singer)
- 4:15 pm – My!Gay!Husband! (a Vancouver-based DJ)
- 5:15 pm – Mira & the Mothership (an R&B and Neo-Soul singer and her band)
- 6:15 pm – DJ D.Dee
Car Free Days in Vancouver
The West End’s Denman Street Car Free Day celebrations are one of four Car Free Day street party events taking place in Vancouver on the Father’s Day weekend in June as well as in July.
The Main Street Car Free Day festivities take place on the day after the Denman Street event, in the afternoon of the Father’s Day Sunday. On both the Saturday and Sunday of the same weekend, Car Free Day celebrations also take the form of individual block parties throughout the Kitsilano neighbourhood of Vancouver.
The Commercial Drive Car Free Day event used to take place on the same Father’s Day Sunday in June as the Main Street event, but since a year or so ago it takes place in early July instead.
For more information about these and other Car Free Day celebrations, plus another one in Port Moody, see Vancouver Car Free Day Events.
Denman Street Car Free Day
The West End Car Free Day event, also known as Denman Street Car Free Day, is similar to the Main Street and Commercial Drive events in that it’s massive, entertaining and packed with pedestrians having fun. There is usually live music at various stages along the street, as well as food vendors, community organizational information booths and things for sale.
The West End’s street party takes place close to English Bay at the south end of the Denman Street strip, making it especially convenient for folk wanting to combine the street party festivities with a trip to one of the world’s finest urban beaches.
The corner of Davie Street and Denman is also close to the seawall which connects the district in one direction with Stanley Park, and in the other direction with False Creek and the False Creek Seawall, making it a fabulous place to either walk or cycle to.
Tips & Advice
Below are some suggestions and bits of information to help you make the most out of your experience at the Denman Street Car Free Day event.
TIP #1: Combine your visit to the Denman Street Car Free Day celebrations with a stroll or bike ride along the Seawall, either in the direction of Stanley Park or towards False Creek. Or, after wandering through the festival, enjoy a picnic and the sunshine on the sandy beach at English Bay at the south end of the festival or at Stanley Park or Coal Harbour not far from the north end.
TIP #2: Robson Street where the festival starts at the north end is one of Vancouver’s best shopping streets. There are great restaurants along Robson Street as well, as there are along Denman Street too. If wanting to eat somewhere specific at a certain restaurant and time, make your reservations well in advance.
TIP #3: Wear good walking shoes! It’s a pedestrian street party, the venue is 12 blocks long and you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Pack your flip-flops for the beach and dress shoes for dinner afterwards, but leave the high heels for later or your feet will hate you!
TIP #4: If you’re not sure which of Vancouver’s various Car Free Day events you want to check out, consider the following when making your decision:
- Check the weather forecast. If you like the look of Saturday’s weather more, then go to the Denman Street event. If the forecast looks better for the Sunday, then go to the one on Main Street.
- Go to whichever is more convenient based on where you live and what you want to do both before and after.
- If you’ve been to a Car Free Day event one year and liked it, then check out a different one this year. All three of the main City of Vancouver Car Free Day street parties are amazing and similar, but special in their own little ways.
- If you’ve got young children and aren’t sure if they’ll like the festivities, or if the weather looks like it’s going to be scorching hot, don’t forget that English Bay beach is right by the corner of Denman and Davie in case you need a break. Just don’t forget to pack your swimsuits!
See the West End Car Free Day website for more information about the Denman Street Car Free Day event.
See Vancouver Car Free Days for other Car Free Day events in Vancouver.
Click June Calendar for a list of other major events in the month of June.
And check out Vancouver’s Festivals and Events Calendar to learn about what’s happening at other times of the year.