Caribbean Days is a free festival celebrating Caribbean music, food and culture in July. Previously held in North Vancouver, it now happens in Coquitlam.
Up until a couple of years ago, the festival took place on the North Shore at Waterfront Park. As of last year, however, its new venue is Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
Click any of the following to jump to a specific topic, or continue reading to learn all about Vancouver’s Caribbean Day’s Festival:
Date & Location | Parade | Food Fair | Caribbean Market | Entertainment | Saturday Schedule | Sunday Schedule | Tips & Advice | Other Information
Caribbean Days Festival
After not happening for a couple of years, Caribbean Days took place last year in July and it’s back again in 2023.
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 most years.
Festival Date and Location
The Caribbean Days Festival happens in late July most years. In 2023 it takes place on the Saturday and Sunday of July 29th and 30th.
In previous years, prior to COVID, the event took place at Waterfront Park which is just a five-minute walk west of North Vancouver’s SeaBus terminal at Lonsdale Quay. Last year, however, the festival happened at Town Centre Park which is at Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam. The park is located at 1299 Pinetree Way. It’s very close to the Lafarge Lake – Douglas SkyTrain station. The festival takes place at Town Centre Park again this year.
For a map of the venue, click Festival Layout.
Caribbean Days Events and Activities
The Caribbean Days Festival usually includes a multicultural parade, food fair, market, and live music and entertainment all weekend.
When the festival used to take place in North Vancouver years ago there was a parade down Lonsdale Avenue which is one of that city’s biggest and most important streets. Now that the event happens at Town Centre Park in Coquitlam, the parade takes place in the 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. There have never been floats in the procession, like there are in larger Lower Mainland parades, just lots of people.
Island & International Food Fair
At the festival there is a large food fair featuring both Caribbean and international foods. 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 Main Stage dance groups perform and bands play everything from Reggae to Calypso, Latin and Soca, as well as other international genres of music.
Below is the schedule of entertainment for 2022. (Note: Times and performer details were subject to change.) Details about the entertainment lineup in 2023 weren’t available as of the last time we checked. It will likely be comparable, however, although exact details are to be confirmed.
Saturday (July 23rd, 2022)
- 10:00 am – DJ BJ Roots Cellar
- 10:30 am – Parade in the Park
- 11:30 am – Official Opening
- 12:30 pm – Julio Avila Cuban Band
- 1:30 pm – Mr. Fantastik
- 2:30 pm – Belly Dancer
- 3:00 pm – Sweet Pan
- 4:00 pm – Limbo with KingFish… and the Diversity Performing Arts Club of Calgary
- 5:00 pm – Roots Reflexion
- 6:00 pm – Boom Daddy
- 7:00 pm – Tropical Breeze
Sunday (July 24th, 2022)
- 11:00 am – DJ KIZUM
- 12:00 pm – X-Kalibre
- 1:00 pm – Out of Many
- 2:00 pm – Children’s Parade
- 3:00 pm – Limbo with KingFish
- 4:00 pm – Mostly Marley
- 5:00 pm – Phase III Steelband
- 6:00 pm – Superblue
Tips and Advice
Below are some suggestions and information to help you make the most out of your experience at the Caribbean Days Festival.
TIP #1: Take public transit if you can. The event is a pleasant 5-minute walk from a stop on the Millennium SkyTrain Station.
TIP #2: While in the area, explore the neighbourhood. There are lots of other things to see at Lafarge Lake, including the lake itself. There are also other parks and places of interest in Coquitlam.
To learn more about the July event, see the Caribbean Days Festival website.
For a list of major events at different times of the year throughout the Lower Mainland, see the Festivals & Events page.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Carnaval del Sol
- Brazilian Carnaval
- Culture and History in Vancouver
- Shows and Entertainment
- Vancouver on a Budget