Vancouver’s LightWaterDrums Winter Lantern Festival is a free family-friendly event in January that includes drums, circus and fire performances at night.
The LightWaterDrums Festival is a free annual community festival hosted by the Hastings North Community Partners Group and it takes place at Hastings Park in Vancouver on a Saturday evening in mid to late January.
Note: The LightWaterDrums Festival did NOT happen in 2018. Hopefully it will return though in future years.
Events similar to the LightWaterDrums Festival in 2017 include the Winter Solstice Lantern Festival at various venues on December 21st, and the Chinese Lantern Festival at the PNE between mid-December until the third week in January. Check ’em out!
Dates and Times
In 2017 the LightWaterDrums Festival happened on January 21st between 5:30 and 8 pm. The musicians, fire-spinners and other busker-style performers entertained outdoors at various locations around the venue between 5:30 and 7:00 pm and a show by the local performance school Circus West started at 7:30 in the Garden Auditorium.
Note: the event occurs every year rain or shine!
The festival takes place at Hastings Park which is located by the PNE fairgrounds in Vancouver in the 2900 block of Hastings Street.
The closest parking is available at the PNE at the entrance just off Renfrew Road about halfway between Hastings Street and McGill and in most years the parking there is free.
About the Festival
The LightWaterDrums Festival is an annual event that features lanterns, drumming, fire-spinning and circus-style performances around the ponds and pathways at Vancouver’s Hastings Park.
The festival is centred around the themes of “Light” as represented by the fires, lanterns and various light installations around the park; “Water” as represented by the park’s ponds (and in some years the rain as well); and “Drums“ which play in the background throughout the evening.
The Festival Setting
The LightWaterDrums Festival is held at Hastings Park which is lit up with lanterns and tea lights around its paths and ponds in the dark.
Lantern Festival Activities
During the LightWaterDrums Festival spectators stroll around the park’s pathways. At various locations throughout the park there is live entertainment including drummers and multiple fire-spinning performers.
At the festival there is also the occasional person on stilts, a marching band that continually processes throughout the venue, circus performers and a final musical and theatrical performance. Free drumming workshops and a drumming circle also take place inside the Garden Auditorium starting about halfway through the evening.
For those that get hungry, popcorn and hot chocolate are available for a minimum $1 donation.
Who is the Festival for?
The LightWaterDrums Festival is a free event that’s open to the public. It’s hosted by a local community association, so it’s an event for the neighbourhood, but anyone can attend and folk come from all over town.
It’s a great little event and highly recommended, especially for families. Expect to see lots of parents with young children.
For more ideas on things to do in January, see Vancouver’s Monthly Calendar.