Caribbean Days is a festival celebrating Caribbean music, food and culture that takes place in late July each year at North Vancouver‘s Waterfront Park.
North Shore’s Caribbean Days
In 2017 Caribbean Days takes place on the weekend of July 29-30.
Hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Cultural Society of BC, it’s a fun festival that attracts tens of thousands of participants from across the Lower Mainland.
Festival Date and Location
In 2017 the Caribbean Days Festival happens on the weekend of July 29 to 30 from 10 am until the early evening on both days.
Most of the festival is at Waterfront Park which is just a five-minute walk west of North Vancouver’s Seabus terminal at Lonsdale Quay. Some activities occur elsewhere, however, including the parade which takes place on the Saturday morning along the streets of North Vancouver.
For a map of the venue, click Festival Layout.
TIP #1: Parking is free at the ICBC parkade on the one block of tiny Rogers Avenue just off Esplanade by Lonsdale Quay. If you get there early you’ll have a reasonable chance of finding a parking spot there – or at least more so than on the street where it’s also free, but limited to just a couple of hours and in high demand. Get there well before the parade though and don’t expect to get out and back on the road until after the parade has finished.
TIP #2: Take public transit if you can. The event is a pleasant 15-minute Seabus ride away from Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver which connects with all major SkyTrain lines in the Lower Mainland.
The Caribbean Days Festival takes place on a Saturday and Sunday each year in late July. Main activities include a multicultural street parade, food fair, market, and live music and entertainment all weekend.
Multicultural Street Parade
On the Saturday there is the Multicultural Street Parade which starts at 10 am at the corner of Lonsdale Avenue and 13th Street. The parade lasts for close to 90 minutes and goes down Lonsdale and then west along Esplanade to Waterfront Park.
In the carnival-style parade expect to hear festive Caribbean music and to see lots of people in colourful costumes dancing and having fun.
Island & International Food Fair
At Caribbean Days there is a large food fair featuring both Caribbean and international foods. The food concession area is on the north side of Waterfront Park just off Esplanade Avenue.
All kinds of tasty foods are available, as are a wide variety of refreshing drinks. Definitely buy your lunch and/or dinner at the venue – the food is one of the highlights of the festival. On a hot summer day the beer garden is also extremely popular.
At Caribbean Days there is also a market with vendors selling all kinds of things including imported goods from the Caribbean and both South and Central America. Expect there to be colourful clothing, hats, bags, artisan products and a wide selection of other items.
Live Music and Entertainment
Caribbean Days just wouldn’t be a Caribbean-style carnival without lots of live music and entertainment. From the festival’s Tropical Rhythms Sound Stage dance groups perform and bands play everything from Reggae to Calypso, Latin and Soca, as well as other international genres of music. Close to the Tropical Rhythms Sound Stage there is also a Family Zone by the park’s playground with crafts for children, face painting and other child-friendly activities.
Highlights of the entertainment schedule for 2017 include the following:
On Saturday, July 29, 2017
- 10:00 am – Multi Cultural Parade
- 11:30 am – DJ BJ John Edwards
- 12:15 pm – Opening Ceremony
- 12:45 pm – Winners of Caribbean Days Parade announced
- 1:10 pm – Lady Valy
- 1:45 pm – Pantastik Youth Steelband
- 2:15 pm – Group America
- 3:00 pm – Sweet Pan
- 3:45 pm – Mosaic Riddim
- 4:30 pm – King Fish Clifford
- 5:00 pm – DJ Showcase-Shawayne / Soca Conductor
- 5:40 pm – Diversity Performing Academy
- 6:15 pm – Sarah K
On Sunday, July 30, 2017
- 11:00 am – DJ Dutty Ragz
- 12:00 pm – Clifton Brown
- 12:30 pm – Vancouver East Allstars
- 1:15 pm – Caleb Hart
- 1:30 pm – Children’s Parade
- 2:00 pm – Sugar Cane
- 3:00 pm – Maffie & Crew
- 4:00 pm – Diversity Performing Academy
- 4:30 pm – Fish Limbo
- 5:00 pm – Phase III
- 6:15 pm – Mostly Marley
For more information on the mid-July event at Waterfront Park, see the Caribbean Days Festival website.
For information about North Vancouver, including other North Shore festivals, click North Vancouver. And for a list of major events at different times of the year throughout the Lower Mainland, see the Festivals & Events page.