Featuring food and performances from various European cultures, the European Festival takes place at the Vancouver Alpen Club on May 30th in 2021.
The event used to take place at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby’s Central Park, except for in years when it didn’t happen at all. Fortunately, the festival is scheduled to be back again in 2021.
European Festival Then and Now
The European Festival isn’t a huge event, but it’s a nice one. In the past, when it took place at Swangard Stadium, it attracted in the range of 10,000 visitors. About two dozen European nations also participated including Scandinavian countries, Baltic States, France, Spain, Great Britain, Germany and Russia.
Up until 2017 it was a two-day outdoor festival. Since 2019, it’s now just a one-day event and indoors. In both cases, there is a variety of ethnic foods, dancing and musical performances.
Where and When is the Festival?
The European Festival used to take place at Swangard Stadium at 3883 Imperial Street in Burnaby’s Central Park on a Saturday and Sunday in late May. The gates opened at around 11 am and non-stop entertainment continued all day, with the headliner band concert on the Saturday evening.
As of 2019 the festival now happens at the Vancouver Alpen Club which is a German cultural venue located at 4875 Victoria Drive (near the corner with 33rd Avenue). In 2020, the festival was scheduled to run from 11:00 am until 6:00 pm on Sunday, May 31st. The 2021 festival is set to take place on May 30th, but exact details are to be confirmed.
What to Expect at the Festival
At Vancouver’s European Festival there are dance performers, musicians and all kinds of European food for sale. In past years there has also been an Arts Plaza where artists showcased their creations, and a Market Place with vendors selling different ethnic foods, clothing and souvenirs.
The event this year may be slightly different, especially at its newer venue (which is both indoors and smaller). In 2019 there were going to be dance performances, cultural demonstrations, traditional food vendors and much more. A silent auction was also supposed to be added.
Be sure to check out the pastry vendors and trade show for delicious treats and unique items for sale.
Hopefully 2021 details will be comparable.
Participating Countries in the 2020 Festival
Before the coronavirus impacted Lower Mainland festivals and events, we expected to see around 20 countries participating in the 2020 Festival. Each would have shown their pride through traditional dress, performances and cultural demonstrations.
2021 details are to be confirmed.
For an idea of what to expect, the participating countries in 2019 included Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey.
European Festival Admission
In past years a weekend pass let you in for both days and cost around $9 online in advance, or $10 or so at the gate. Children 11 and under were usually free.
In 2019 tickets purchased on Eventbrite cost $5. 2021 details are to be confirmed.
For more information about the event, check out the European Festival website.