Carnaval del Sol is a Latin festival that features food, music and cultural activities in Vancouver. It’s one of a number of Latin-themed events in July.
In 2024 the main festival takes place on the weekend of July 5th to 7th. Other events, however, happen on other dates in July too.
In addition to the main festival on the first full weekend in July, other events include a Soccer Tournament on July 13th & 14th (at a location to be determined) and Flamenco, Tango & Wine Night on July 13th in North Vancouver. A Latin American Cocktail Tasting event happens on July 18. Most years there is usually also a Fiesta Blanca Cruise.
On Friday, July 5th, 2024, there is the Opening Night event with a beer garden. On the Saturday and Sunday of July 6th & 7th, it’s the full Carnaval del Sol festival with live music and multiple plazas.
For full details about Carnaval del Sol, visit carnavaldelsol.ca.
Carnaval del Sol Latin Festival
Carnaval del Sol (CSOL) is one of Vancouver’s most successful and fun events. It’s also the largest Latin festival in the entire Pacific Northwest!
At the festival there is a Main Stage where bands play and dance groups perform. There is also a Kids’ Plaza, Food Plaza, Market Plaza, Beer Plaza, Family Plaza, Experience Plaza and other areas. This past year the festival was once again an amazing in-person event with lots of live music, cultural performances and family-friendly fun.
To learn more, visit the official Carnaval del Sol website.
When and Where is Carnaval del Sol?
In 2024 Carnaval del Sol runs on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of July 5th, 6th and 7th.
Last year Carnaval del Sol was on the weekend of July 7th to 9th. The festivities took place at David Lam Park in Yaletown that year. The year before, the big Carnaval del Sol event happened at Jonathan Rogers Park. That will likely be the venue again in 2024, although exact details are to be confirmed.
The opening night beer garden event usually starts at 6:00 pm on the Friday. On the Saturday and Sunday the festivities typically run from noon until around 11:00 pm.
How Much Does It Cost?
Admission to the 2023 festival depended on your age, when you bought your tickets, and which tickets you bought. 2024 details are to be confirmed.
Last year the opening night event on Friday was only for ages 19 and above. Early-bird tickets cost $30 and regular tickets were $35 each. Tickets at the door cost $45 per person. Admission to the main festivities on the Saturday and Sunday was free for children ages 11 and under and for seniors ages 66 and above. General admission for everyone else cost $15 online for each day, or $20 at the door for each day. Two-day passes cost $25 online and $30 at the gate. (TIP: The first 300 people each day got in for free!)
VIP tickets for Saturday and Sunday last year were also available for $60 in advance or $70 at the door. Not only did VIP tickets give you access to the venue on both the Saturday and Sunday, but they also gave you a number of other perks including:
- Priority entry at the beer garden
- Access to the VIP Plaza which had a premium view of the Main Stage
- VIP washrooms
- Free Sangria samples
- Discounts at select vendors
Plazas at Carnaval del Sol
There are usually nine or so different plazas at Carnaval del Sol on the Saturday and Sunday of the main event. They include the Main Plaza, VIP Plaza, Family Plaza, Kids’ Plaza, Market Plaza, Experience Plaza, Seniors Plaza, Food Plaza and Beer Plaza.
The Big Stage
Over the course of the weekend in 2023, over 300 artists sang, danced and entertained. The Big Stage was where the festival’s main performances took place.
The Main Stage schedule for 2023 is below. The 2024 schedule will be comparable.
On Saturday, July 8th, 2023
- 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm – Casa Meshiko Danza
- 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm – Capoeira Aché Brazil
- 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm – Julio Avila Cuban Band
- 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm – Gabriel Palatchi Trio
- 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm – Surprise Show
- 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm – Sambacouver
- 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Proyecto Uno
On Sunday, July 9th, 2023
- 11:00 am to 11:40 am – Zumba with Carol Santos
- 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm – Los Duendes
- 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm – Victor Robles
- 2:30 pm – Latincouver 15 Years Tribute
- 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm – Rumba 7
- 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm – Espanglish
- 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm – Felix Cuba y El Iyawo
- 8:00 pm to 8:30 pm – Vancouver Samba School
- 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Mazacote
The Family Plaza was the second largest plaza of Carnaval del Sol last year. This is where you could see a comedy show, theatre show, photo booth and more. There are colourful and engaging activities for all ages in this area every year.
This is where people who buy VIP tickets get to hang out when they want. The area boasts some shade, private washrooms, complimentary refreshments, seating, and a nice view of the Big Stage.
The Kids’ Plaza features a variety of child-friendly activities. There are usuallt face painting and hair styling opportunities, as well as things like drumming workshops and arts and crafts. There are also playground games to enjoy. Some activities in the Kids’ Plaza are free. For some though, there is a charge (like for face painting and piñata making).
This area is designed for seniors. It has a good view of the main stage, lots of shade and refreshing drinks. There are also activities that appealed to older folks, like Rana, Chezz, Parques and more.
The Market Plaza is where you can find vendors selling all sorts of Latin American products. You can expect to see everything from spices and treats to jewelry and art in this section. It is a great place to discover and support local businesses.
This was an area that gastronomes would have appreciated last year. It was a culinary experience for 100 guests who got to watch chefs prepare food while interacting with them along the way. It was an immersive dining experience with several demonstrations over the weekend.
This was the place to enjoy drinks from Granville Island Brewing and Topochico last year. The venue also featured food from La Taqueria, as well as music by DJ Guitto, DJ Snchez and DJ Erick. 2024 will be similar.
Don’t go to Carnaval del Sol with a full stomach! Go hungry so you can enjoy all the delicious Latin American foods! There were over 20 food vendors to check out last year, and it’ll be the same in 2024.
Other Latin American Experience Events
In addition to the main Carnaval del Sol event on the weekend of July 5th to 7th in 2024, other related activities happened in July as part of Carnaval del Sol’s larger Latin American Experience series of events.
The World Soccer Tournament happens on July 13 & 14th. The annual Flamenco, Tango & Wine Night event is on July 11th. In 2024 there is also a Latin American Cocktail Tasting event on July 18th and Carnavalito which is a Latin-themed fiesta in Langley on August 25th. Last year there was also a Fiesta Blanca Cruise on July 15th. Hopefully that will happen again in 2024 too.
Below is a list of some events that happened in 2023. For the full list of events and more information about each, visit the Carnaval del Sol website.
Related events that take place during the Carnaval del Sol festival when it returns to Vancouver in 2024 are to be confirmed.
(Note: With all of these events, times and other details were subject to change.)
World Soccer Tournament
(Sunday, July 2nd, 2023)
The World Soccer Tournament was a fun and social soccer tournament.
This past year’s event happened at Empire Field at 2901 East Hastings Street in Vancouver. Friends were able to make their own teams of up to 10 players. Admission was $250 per team. There was also DJ music, food and Zumba sessions.
Latin Circus Orchestra
(Thursday, July 6th, 2023)
The Latin Jazz Extravaganza took place at the Vancouver Playhouse in 2022. In 2023 there was a special performance by Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra at the same venue on Thursday, July 6th. You could expect to see lots of acrobatics, live music and energetic dancing.
Tango & Flamenco Moments
(Thursday, July 13th, 2023)
Tango & Flamenco Moments featured a night of Flamenco dancing, Tango dancing and wine.
In 2023 the event took place at 7:00 pm on July 13th. It was held at the Pipe Shop in North Vancouver, located at 115 Victory Ship Way. Performers were Flamenco Rosario and Tango Rumba. Dinner and Sangria was included with admission.
Fiesta Blanca Cruise
(Saturday, July 15th, 2023)
The Salsa Cruise Fiesta Blanca is a boat party where everyone dresses in white. In 2023 the event took place on the MV Britannia which departed from 501 Denman Street in Coal Harbour. Boarding began at 8:30 pm and the partying finished by 12:30 am. This event featured a nightclub-style atmosphere with a dance floor, bar and music.
To learn more about this event, click Salsa Cruise Fiesta Blanca 2023.
Click Carnaval del Sol for the event’s official website.
Background to Carnaval del Sol
Carnaval del Sol is produced by Latincouver, a Latin American organization in Vancouver which brings together Latin Americans from all countries as well as Latin enthusiasts living in Canada.
The first Carnaval del Sol event was in 2009 at Vancouver’s Hellenic Community Centre and it was attended by just 500 people. For a few years since then the event has taken place on Granville Street in downtown Vancouver, and then for the last few years at Concord Pacific Place.
Today Carnaval del Sol attracts up to 100,000 attendees each year and is one of the Lower Mainland’s largest and most vibrant festivals.
Click Latin American Experience for information about other related events happening in the same month as Carnaval del Sol.
If you love this kind of festival, another similar event is the Caribbean Days Festival in late July in North Vancouver, not to mention all the many other great festivals listed on Vancouver’s Best Places’ calendar of Festivals and Events.
Vancouver’s Latin Restaurants
Vancouver is a cosmopolitan city with people from all over the world including from all parts of Latin America. In fact, Metro Vancouver is home to close to 40,000 residents of Latin American and Caribbean origin, and they love their food!
Looking for some of the region’s best restaurants? Then check out Vancouver’s best Latin American and Mexican Restaurants.
To learn more about Carnaval del Sol, click carnavaldelsol.ca.
For a video of the event from past years, click Carnaval del Sol Video. (It’s an old video, but will give you an idea of what to expect.)
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver’s July and August Calendars
- Brazilian Carnaval
- Latin American Heritage Month
- Day of the Dead Latin Market
- Surrey Greek Food Festival
- Lower Mainland Festivals & Events
- Shows & Entertainment Calendar
- Vancouver History and Culture
- Vancouver on a Budget