Car Free Day on Main Street is a Vancouver festival on the Father’s Day weekend in June featuring live music, market vendors and thousands of people.
In 2020 the pedestrian street party was supposed to take place on Sunday, June 21st, from 12 until 7 pm. Unfortunately, the in-person event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hopefully it can take place safely in 2021.
As June 21st is Father’s Day (which is when Main Street Car Free Day always takes place), you could’ve expected to see lots of dads and their families at the event! It would have been a great way to celebrate the day!
Car Free Day on Main Street
Car Free Day on Main Street is just one of several Car Free Day events in the Lower Mainland. Other Car Free Day events take place on different days in the summer on Denman Street, Commercial Drive, North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Avenue and various smaller streets throughout Kitsilano. See below for further details.
About Main Street Car Free Day
Main Street Car Free Day usually happens on the afternoon of the Father’s Day Sunday in June. On that day tens if not hundreds of thousands of people fill Main Street between Broadway and 30th Avenue.
In a typical year at the Main Street Car Free Day event there are live bands, street performers, market vendors, extended restaurant patios, mini beer gardens, food trucks and all kinds of things to do and see.
Of all of Vancouver’s various Car Free Day festivals, the Main Street event is the largest. The street party runs along some 20 or so blocks and features performances on over a dozen stages.
For more information see the Main Street Festival website.
Other Car Free Day Events
The equally impressive West End Car Free Day takes place on Denman Street the day before the Main Street event, so on the Saturday of the Father’s Day weekend.
In past years the Commercial Drive Car Free Day event also took place on the Sunday of the Father’s Day weekend. As of 2017, however, it takes place in early July instead, which makes sense as the two virtually identical events now no longer compete on the same day.
Non-Car Free Day Street Parties
The Main Street, Denman Street, Commercial Drive, Kitsilano and Port Moody Car Free Day events are all “official” Car Free Day events. There are a number of other major events in Metro Vancouver that are similar, but not part of the official “Car Free Day” family.
Instead of purposefully celebrating the pedestrian way of life and having a slightly anti-car and pro-environmental theme, the following other street parties look pretty similar but have more of a cultural and/or ethnic focus:
- Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade and Surrey Vaisakhi Parade – East Indian cultural events that draw hundreds of thousands of people into the streets in both South Vancouver and Surrey on subsequent Saturdays around the second and third weekends in April.
- Italian Day on the Drive – an Italian-themed street party with extended restaurant patios, live music, vendor stalls, food trucks and crowds of people in the street on Commercial Drive on a Sunday in early to mid-June.
- Greek Day on Broadway – a major street festival with a Greek theme that takes place in Kitsilano along Broadway Avenue in late June.
- Khatsahlano Street Party – another massive street party in Kitsilano but this time along West 4th Avenue in early July. Instead of having an ethnic cultural theme, the Khatsahlano Street Party is a music and arts festival that just happens to take place along the middle of a major road.
- Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Fest – a street festival that takes place in New Westminster along Columbia Street in late July and features live music and hundreds of food trucks.
- Taiwanese Cultural Festival – an Asian-themed cultural festival that takes place along Granville Street in the heart of downtown Vancouver on the long weekend in September.
For more information about the Main Street Car Free Day event, see the Car Free Days website.
For a list of other activities on the same weekend as the Main Street Car Free Day festival, click Vancouver Father’s Day Activities.
And for a list of major events in the Lower Mainland throughout the year, see the Festivals & Events Calendar.
To see what else is happening in June, check out Vancouver’s June Calendar.