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Vancouver’s KitsFest Sports Festival

Beach Volleyball

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 2021 and 2022

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, KitsFest was cancelled in 2020. The event returned on August 6th, 7th and 8th in 2021, but in a smaller way than usual since the festival featured only three sports.

Fortunately, more activities are returning in 2022 when the event is set to happen from August 5th to 7th. Continue reading below for more information.


 

KitsFest at Kitsilano Beach

KitsFest did not take place in 2020, but it returned in a scaled down format on the first full weekend in August of 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 a 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.

In 2021 the event ran from Friday, August 6th, until Sunday, August 8th. Most of the games started at 9 am on all three days.

 

Volleyball at Kitsilano Beach
Beach volleyball at Kitsilano Beach

 

KitsFest Activities

At KitsFest there are usually 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.

Unfortunately, the event was scaled down in 2021, so there were less things to do than in previous years. Basketball, beach volleyball and touch football took place, but additional activities are only returning in 2022.

In a typical year, non-competitive sport activities include the KCC Family Zone that features DJ music, community booths, crafts activities and even family yoga and Zumba sessions at specific times, plus a bouncy castle on certain days. In normal years, there are also spin classes that are free for adults 18 years of age and older, but advanced reservations are usually required (and they sell out well in advance).

 

KitsFest 2021 Schedule

Below was the 2021 schedule of events. (Note: times and other details are subject to change.)

  • Basketball – every day from 9:00 am until sunset.
  • Beach Volleyball – the kids tournament happens on Friday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. The adult qualifiers also take place on Friday, but from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Adult games continue on both the Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am until sunset.
  • Touch Football – youth games begin at 9:00 am on Sunday and adult games begin three hours later at 12:00 pm.

 

KitsFest 2022 Schedule

Below is the tentative schedule of other events scheduled for next year, which organizers are hoping to make extra special. (Note: times and other details are subject to change.)

  • Bath Tub Races – on Saturday from 2:00 until 8:00 pm.
  • KCC Family / Art Zone – from 11:00 until 6:00 pm on the Saturday, and from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm on the Sunday.
  • Spike Ball – a tournament on Saturday beginning at 11:00 am.
  • Spin Bike Sessions – 4 separate sessions on Saturday from 9:30 am until 12:30 pm.
  • Sunset Yoga – on Friday from 7:00 pm until sunset.
  • 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.
  • Water Polo – on Friday and Saturday with times to be confirmed.

 

Free Events in August

 

Tips and Advice

Below is some extra information and suggestions to help you make the most out of your KitsFest experience most years.

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.

 

Swimming at Kitsilano
The outdoor pool at Kitsilano Beach

 

Other Information

For further details and to register for specific events, see the KitsFest website.

For more information on other events in the Lower Mainland, see Vancouver’s August Calendar or Festivals & Events Calendar.

For a list of other great places to swim outdoors, check out Vancouver’s Best Beaches.