Metro Vancouver’s Hats Off Day is a festival on Burnaby’s Hastings Street. It includes a parade, live music and street entertainment in early June.
At the popular one-day event pedestrians take over the street and enjoy a day of free family-friendly activities and community fun.
Both the street party and the parade are usually on the first Saturday in June. Last year that was June 3rd. In 2024 the event likely happens on June 1st (but with exact details to be confirmed). That’s the same weekend as other Lower Mainland events like the West Vancouver Community Cultural Fest, Pitt Meadows Day and Vancouver International Children’s Festival.
This article contains the following information about the festival:
Hats Off Day Street Festival and Parade
Voted “Burnaby’s Best Festival” by readers of the Burnaby Now newspaper for over 10 years in a row, Hats Off Day is a community event worth checking out. In years with good weather, as many as 50,000 people attend.
Where and When
Hats Off Day takes place in the City of Burnaby along Hastings Street between Boundary Road and Gamma Avenue. In other words, it starts only about four blocks east of the Trans-Canada Highway.
The event almost always happens on the first Saturday in June. In 2022, however, it was on Saturday, June 18th, which was part of the Father’s Day Weekend. In 2023 Hats Off Day returned on Saturday, June 3rd. The exact date for the event in 2024 is to be confirmed.
What Happens on Hats Off Day?
Hats Off Day events include the Family Fun Dash, parade and a day of street partying with live entertainment, all of which make it a first-rate community event.
In 2022 pretty much all the celebrations except for the parade took place. The parade and other activities happened again in 2023. Last year, the Family Fun Dash started at 9:30 am. It was followed by the parade at 10:00 am. After that, between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm, there was the Street Party and Car Show & Shine.
Hats Off Day Family Fun Dash
The day usually starts off in the morning with the Family Fun Dash – a 550-metre run for families to celebrate the day as well as wellness, health and family fun.
Last year the race started at 9:30 am on the Saturday. The starting line is at Madison Avenue and it finishes three blocks and 550 metres away at MacDonald Avenue.
Participants need to register, have a Team Captain (of at least 15 years of age) and pay about $5 which benefits the Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society. To learn more click Family Fun Dash.
Hats Off Day Parade
The Hats Off Day parade didn’t happen in 2022. Fortunately, it did take place in 2023 (and hopefully will again in 2024)! Last year’s parade began at 10:00 am. The parade usually includes over 40 entries. Expect to see marching bands, a few floats, some old-fashioned cars, local politicians and lots of people in costume.
Hats Off Day Street Festival
After the parade, Hastings Street is filled with people and their families from Boundary Road to Gamma Avenue. The street is lined with stalls from area businesses and community organizations. There are also food vendors, street entertainers and bands playing music throughout the day.
Hats Off Day Show & Shine Car Show
Antique, classic and custom cars line Hastings Street between Gamma and Willingdon Avenue. In 2023 the Show & Shine happened from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm.
Tips & Advice
Below are some tips to help you make the most of your Hats Off Day experience.
TIP #1: The Hats Off Day street festival is a big event, similar to Car Free Days or Italian Day on the Drive later in the month most years. If you enjoy Hats Off Day, then other events to check out at other times of the year include Surrey Car Free Day, Uptown Live and the Khatsahlano Street Party.
TIP #2: Don’t try to drive along Hastings Street or anywhere near it in Burnaby during Hats Off Day. Twelve blocks of Hastings are closed for most of the day and neighbouring roads will be congested.
To learn more about the Burnaby event, see the Hats Off Day website.
For details on other festivals at different times of the year, see Vancouver’s Festivals and Events Calendar.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- The City of Burnaby
- Burnaby Restaurants
- Vancouver’s June Calendar
- Summer Activities in Vancouver
- Vancouver on a Budget