Car Free Day on Main Street is a Vancouver festival on the Father’s Day weekend in June. It features live music, market vendors and thousands of people.
The next Car Free Day on Main Street event takes place on September 18th in 2022. It was going to happen on August 27th, but then got postponed until the following month.
Details about the event in 2023 are to be confirmed.
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, and various smaller streets throughout Kitsilano. See below for details about each event.
The above events are all put on by the same organization. Elsewhere in the Lower Mainland there are other, independent car free day events (including ones in Port Moody and Maple Ridge).
About Main Street Car Free Day
Main Street Car Free Day usually happens on the afternoon of the Father’s Day Sunday in June. Tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people usually fill Main Street that day between Broadway and 30th Avenue. In 2022 the event is smaller than usual and runs between 10th Avenue and 25th.
In a typical year there are live bands, street performers and market vendors at the event. Mini beer gardens, food trucks, extended restaurant patios are there too.
Of all of Vancouver’s various Car Free Day Festivals, the Main Street event is usually the largest. In a typical year the street party is about 20 blocks long and features performances on over a dozen stages. In 2022, however, it runs for just 15 blocks. Next year though they expect it’ll be back up to its pre-pandemic size.
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. The 2021 festival had a new event called Car Free Month which took place from August 29th to September 25th.
In 2022 Main Street Car Free Day was originally scheduled to take place on August 27th. However, the event has since been postponed to Sunday, September 18th, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Main Street Car Free Day runs from 12:00 to 7:00 pm.
Other Car Free Day Events
The equally impressive West End Car Free Day is hosted on Denman Street. In 2022 the event takes place on September 25th, so one week after Main Street Car Free Day.
In past years the Commercial Drive Car Free Day event took place on the Sunday of the Father’s Day weekend. However, in 2022 the event is scheduled to run on September 10th.
Other Car Free Day events include Car Free block parties throughout Kitsilano and Port Moody Car Free Day. There are also events in Surrey, New Westminster and North Vancouver.
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. They aren’t, however, a 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. They have more of a cultural and/or ethnic focus though:
- 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. They happen 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. It happens 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. It takes place 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.
- 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.
To learn about other similar events, see our article about Car Free Days in the Lower Mainland.
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.