2018’s Chinese New Year was on February 16. One of the best places to celebrate is Vancouver’s Chinatown, with the highlight being the parade that weekend.
In 2019 Vancouver’s Chinese New Year’s parade in Chinatown takes place on Sunday either just before or just after February 5, 2019.
See below for information on Vancouver’s Chinese New Year Parade, or click Chinese New Year Activities for a list of multiple ways to celebrate the event including the parade!
Chinese New Year’s Chinatown Parade
A Vancouver cultural festivity that you won’t want to miss is Chinatown‘s New Year’s parade. There is no need to travel abroad to experience China – on this day you’ll find yourself surrounded by about a billion Chinese and other Vancouverites, the occasional colourful dragon, and numerous bands and people in costumes marching down the streets.
New Year Parade Route
The parade goes down West Pender under the Chinatown Millennium gate, up Gore Street, and then back up along Keefer. The Year of the Dog celebrations begin on Friday, February 16, and the parade takes place on the Sunday.
Vancouver’s Chinese New Year’s parade happens in Chinatown from 11 am until about 1:30 pm most years. Get there early to find a place you can see the road, somewhere along Pender, Gore or Keefer near the entrance gate to Chinatown. Unless it’s raining and miserable, prepare yourself for the crowds – the throng of people is a cultural experience in itself.
Tips for Parade Viewing
Below are some tips and suggestions to help you maximize your Chinatown Parade experience.
TIP #1: On Keefer Street by Columbia there is a giant building with a parkade with the words “CHINATOWN” written down the side on a red and yellow neon sign. If you want a good view, and want to be above the crowds, this can be a great place to be. Look up from the street, and you can see people looking down and enjoying the parade from a comfortable and less congested distance (unless the parkade officials decide to stop people from using their premises as a viewing venue this year).
TIP #2: Either before or after the parade, consider visiting International Village at 88 West Pender. This interesting yet normally fairly quiet shopping mall completely comes alive. Inside, in addition to thousands of people, you’ll find an assortment of performances and stalls selling all kinds of festive items.
TIP #3: While in Chinatown, check out the festivities at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden at 578 Carrall Street. Running from 10 am to 4 pm, the festivities there include dance performances, live music, a lion dance and other family-friendly cultural activities. Admission is by donation. Expect the place to be busy!
Click Chinese New Year Events for other celebratory activities in Metro Vancouver.