KitsFest is a summer festival at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach that features DJ music and a wide range of outdoor sports including bath tub races in August.
KitsFest at Kitsilano Beach
In 2020 KitsFest was scheduled to take place on the weekend of August 7th to 9th. Because of concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the 2020 event was cancelled. The event will hopefully happen again on the weekend of August 6th to 8th in 2021.
In years when there isn’t a global health crisis, activities at KitsFest include basketball, beach volleyball, spin classes, tennis, touch football, water polo, tub racing and yoga.
Where and When is Kitsfest?
KitsFest takes place on the second weekend in August at Kitsilano Beach which is located between Cornwall Avenue and Arbutus Street. If looking for an address, use 1305 Arbutus Street which is where you’ll find the Kitsilano Boathouse Restaurant which is located close to the centre of the beach.
The event runs from about 8:30 am until the evening on all three days most years. In 2021 it’s scheduled to run from Friday, August 6th, until Sunday, August 8th.
At KitsFest there are lots of sports to participate in as well as free things to do and watch. You need to register in advance for the competitions, but for other things and to be a spectator you just need to show up.
Non-competitive sport activities most years include the KCC Family Zone that usually runs on the Friday afternoon, all morning and afternoon on the Saturday and from about 11:00 am to 4:00 pm on the Sunday.
In the KCC Family Zone there is DJ music, community booths, crafts activities and even family yoga and Zumba sessions at specific times, plus a bouncy castle on the Saturday and Sunday.
In addition to the KCC Family Zone activities for children and their parents, Sunset Yoga for the general public takes place on the Friday evening spin classes on the Saturday morning. The spin classes are free for adults 18 years of age and older, but advanced reservations are required (and they sell out well in advance).
Below is the 2019 schedule of events. (Note: times and other details are subject to change.) 2021 details are to be confirmed, but will likely be similar.
- Basketball – every day from 9:00 am until sunset.
- Bath Tub Races – on Saturday from 2:00 until 8:00 pm.
- Beach Volleyball – on both the Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am until sunset.
- Boot Camp – on Sunday at 9:00 pm.
- KCC Family / Art Zone – from 11:00 until 8:00 pm on the Friday, 11:00 am until 6:00 pm on the Saturday and 11:00 am until 4:00 pm on the Sunday.
- Spin Bike Sessions – 4 separate sessions on Saturday from 9:30 am until 12:30 pm.
- Tennis – mixed doubles on Friday from 4:00 until 6:00 pm and then the UBC Tennis Center Skills Session starting at 6 o’clock. More tennis then takes place on Saturday from 8:30 am until 7:00 pm and again on Sunday from 9:00 am until 5:30 pm.
- Touch Football – on Saturday from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm as well as on Sunday from 10:00 am until 4:30 pm.
- Sunset Yoga – on Friday from 7:30 pm until sunset.
- Water Polo – on Friday and Saturday with times to be confirmed.
Tips and Advice
Below is some extra information and suggestions to help you make the most out of your KitsFest experience.
TIP #1: For the yoga, remember to take your own towel and mat.
TIP #2: For Zumba, arrive early as participation is restricted to just the first 350 or so people. Arrive early for the yoga as well to stake your claim to a good piece of sand for your mat.
TIP #3: If you plan to compete in a sport, make sure you and your team sign up well in advance.
TIP #4: Parking in the area is a challenge so take public transit if you can. If you drive, remember to leave lots of time to find parking prior to your event.
TIP #5: If you like farmers markets then check out the Kitsilano Farmers Market on the Sunday between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm outside the Kitsilano Community Centre at 2690 Larch Street. It’s a bit of a drive from the beach, but it’s a fabulous market and a great place to pick up ingredients for a picnic at the beach.
TIP #6: Regardless of what you do at the festival, don’t forget to take a water bottle, hat, swimsuit and sunscreen. Also, don’t forget that one of Canada’s finest outdoor swimming pools is right by the beach.
For further details and to register for specific events, see the KitsFest website.
For a list of other great places to swim outdoors, check out Vancouver’s Best Beaches.