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Vancouver’s Main Street Car Free Day

Car Free Day on Main Street

Car Free Day on Main Street is a Vancouver street party-style festival with live music, market vendors, family-friendly entertainment and thousands of people.

In 2024, the event takes place on Sunday, September 15th. That is the same weekend as Taste of Abby (which is an autumn food festival in Abbotsford) and Vancouver Fringe Festival shows on Granville Island. Last year the Harrison Sunflower Festival in Agassiz had its final days of the season on the same weekend.

To learn about what else is happening this time of year, see our September Calendar of Events. To learn about other similar street parties at other times of the year, see our article about Lower Mainland Car Free Day Events. For information about Vancouver’s Car Free Day event on Main Street in September, continue reading.

 


Click on any of the following to skip to a specific section:

About Main Street Car Free Day | 2023 Entertainment Schedule | Other Car Free Day Events | Other Information


 

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 Vancouver Car Free Day events typically take place on different days in the summer or early fall on Commercial Drive and Denman Street.

The above events are all put on by the same organization. Elsewhere in the Lower Mainland there are other car free day events including ones in Surrey, Port Moody and Port Coquitlam.

 

Crowds at Car Free Day on Commercial

 

About Main Street Car Free Day

Main Street Car Free Day used to happen on the afternoon of the Father’s Day Sunday in June. The last couple of years, however, the event has shifted to September.

In the past, tens if not hundreds of thousands of people filled Main Street between Broadway and 30th Avenue. Last year’s event was a bit smaller than pre-pandemic times but it was still big, though. In 2024 the event will block off 20 blocks from 10th to 30th Avenue.

At the event there are live bands, street performers and market vendors. 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. The street party is typically about 20 blocks long and features performances on more than a dozen stages.

In 2024 Main Street Car Free Day takes place on Sunday, September 15th. The event will likely run from about 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm, but exact details are TBC as of early July.

 

Free Events in September

 

2023 Main Street Car Free Day Entertainment Schedule

In 2023 live entertainment took place at the following times and locations. This year’s schedule is TBC as of early July.

 

Helm Studio Stage (in 2023)

(At 24th Avenue and Main Street)

  • 12:00 pm – Tough Sell
  • 12:55 pm – Hoodie Browns
  • 2:30 pm – Eros Taylor
  • 4:05 pm – Silent St. J
  • 5:00 pm – Leo D. E. Johnson

 

2023 Vancouver Fringe Festival

 

VBPS Family Stage (in 2023)

(At 11th Avenue and Main Street)

  • 12:30 pm – All Ages Dance Party
  • 5:00 pm – Superstar Sing Along
  • 5:15 pm – Hip Hop Dance Class

In addition to the above, on this stage between 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm there were also other performances.

 

Vancouver Flamenco Festival

 

Support the Scene Stage (in 2023)

(At 23rd Avenue and Main Street)

  • 12:00 pm – Royce Rich
  • 12:40 pm – Ashley Hautala
  • 1:30 pm – Bloom Shack
  • 2:30 pm – Papaya Give
  • 3:30 pm – Midnight Blind
  • 4:30 pm – Fallen Stars
  • 5:30 pm – La Chinga

 

Neptune Records Stage (in 2023)

(At Neptune Records at 3561 Main Street which is around 20th Avenue)

  • 1:00 pm – Lady Glenham
  • 2:00 pm – La Lune
  • 3:00 pm – Ayla Tesler-Mabe
  • 4:00 pm – Tough Age

 

Ayla Tesler-Mabe in New Westminster
Ayla Tesler-Mabe (at Uptown Live in New West)

 

Main Street BIA Stage (in 2023)

(At 14th Avenue and Main Street)

  • 12:15 pm – Vancouver Concert Band
  • 1:30 pm – Luc Le Mans
  • 2:30 pm – Karla Sax
  • 3:45 pm – Randy Swallow Trio
  • 5:00 pm – Not Mentally Prepared
  • 6:00 pm – Cookin with Bass

 

StayVancouverHotels.com

 

Other Car Free Day Events

Elsewhere in Vancouver, Commercial Drive Car Free Day happens on September 7th, so one week before the Main Street event. West End Car Free Day usually takes place on Denman Street, from around English Bay to Robson Street. In 2023 that event happened on September 24th, so a week after Main Street Car Free Day. Sadly, its cancelled in 2024.

Other Car Free Day events include Car Free Day Port Coquitlam on September 7th, and events in Surrey, Port Moody, New Westminster and North Vancouver (which is part of that city’s Shipyards Festival).

 

Vancouver Mysteries

 

Non-Car Free Day Street Parties

The Main Street, Commercial Drive and Denman Street 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, music and/or ethnic focus though.

  • Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade and Surrey Vaisakhi Parade – East Indian cultural events that draw hundreds of thousands of people onto 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.
  • Uptown Live – a free street party and music festival with family-friendly things to see and do in New Westminster in July.
  • TaiwanFest – an Asian-themed cultural festival that takes place along Granville Street in downtown Vancouver on the long weekend in September.

 

Car Free Day on Denman
West End Car Free Day on Denman Street

 

Other Information

For more information about the Main Street Car Free Day event, see the Car Free Days website.

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 the same month, check out Vancouver’s September Calendar.