Italian Day on the Drive is an annual street party on Vancouver’s Commercial Drive that includes Italian food, music, festivities and thousands of people.
EVENT STATUS IN 2022
No large street party took place on Commercial Drive in June last year because of COVID-19. Italian Day on the Drive isn’t happening in June of 2022 either. That being said, the organizers of the event do plan to host a smaller Italian-themed event on Sunday, August 28th.
Italian Day in Grandview Park in 2022 is a mini event celebrating Italian culture, food and heritage in August. Commercial Drive won’t be closed down on the day, although some side streets around the park might be. All the event’s activities will, however, happen in the park.
For the most up-to-date details about the event see the Italian Day on the Drive website.
Although the big Italian Festival isn’t happening in June this year, a number of other great festivals and events are. These include Surrey Car Free Day, ScotFestBC and Langley Community Day. In the second half of the month there are also amusement rides at Playland and amazing performances at the Royal Canadian International Circus.
Italian Day on Commercial Drive
If you like street parties, live music, pasta and fun outdoor activities in the city, then you’ll want to check out Italian Day.
It’s reputedly the region’s largest street party event, attracting a couple of hundred thousand participants most years.
Where and When
Italian Day on the Drive takes place each year on the second Sunday in June. In 2020 the festival was going to be on Sunday, June 14, from noon until 8 pm. However, the event was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It didn’t take place in 2021 either.
The event isn’t happening in 2022. Hopefully it’ll be back in June of 2023.
In years when it does take place, the event runs along Commercial Drive in Vancouver’s “Little Italy” for the 14 or so blocks between Venables and Grandview.
Italian Day on the Drive
At Italian Day on the Drive expect to see over 120 different market vendors and lots of green, white and red colours. As many as 20 different patios are opened up, serving everything from pizza to pasta to gelato.
There are also cooking demonstrations, food samples, soccer games, a pasta eating contest, street performers, an Italian clothing fashion show, DJs and three different main stages offering live music and other entertainment including Jazz and opera.
For children there are also crafts and other activity stations, plus for adults lots of opportunities to buy great espressos and cappuccinos.
Musicians and other performers entertain from three different stages over the course of the day along Commercial Drive. The 2020 lineup was not released before the event got cancelled. For an idea of what to expect when the event returns, below is the schedule from 2019.
Grandview Park Stage (in 2019)
Grandview Park is located at 1657 Charles Street (on Napier Street between Charles and William Street).
Below was the schedule for the stage at the park in 2019.
- 12:30 pm – Coro Folcloristico Trevigiano
- 1:20 pm – Luna Rossa
- 2:45 pm – Carmelina Cupo
- 4:00 pm – Marco Bori & Danilo Ciaccia
- 4:45 pm – Laura Crema
- 5:35 pm – Vancouver Opera
- 6:25 pm – Notte Italiana
- 7:15 pm – Songpati Latinband
2nd Avenue Stage (in 2019)
Below was the 2019 schedule for the stage located at the intersection of Commercial Drive and 2nd Avenue.
- 12:00 pm – Opening Ceremony
- 1:15 pm – Gianni Fuoco
- 2:10 pm – Notte Italiana
- 3:35 pm – Federico Fuoco and Fire
- 5:00 pm – City Opera
- 5:50 pm – Stephen Scaccia
- 6:20 pm – Marco Bori & Danilo Ciaccia
- 7:05 pm – Jany Barucci
- 8:00 pm – Raffle Draw
Piazza Moda – Fashion Show & Entertainment Stage (in 2019)
This stage is located at the intersection of Commercial Drive and 3rd Avenue. Below is what was on the schedule for 2019.
- 1:30 pm – Stephen Scaccia
- 2:05 pm – Marco Bori & Danilo Ciaccia
- 2:45 pm – Grandi Fashion Show
- 3:20 pm – Jany Barucci
- 4:05 pm – Venetian Opera
- 4:40 pm – Notte Italiana
- 5:25 pm – Grandi Fashion Show
- 6:00 pm – Lisa Petrucci
- 6:40 pm – Grandi Fashion Show
- 7:10 pm – Dennis Mayer
Italian Day on the Drive is a fabulous family-friendly event well worth checking out. For more information see the Italian Day website.
For other events at different times of the year, see Vancouver’s Festivals and Events Calendar. Events you’ll find there that are similar to Italian Day coming up in June include the various Car Free Day celebrations on Commercial Drive, Main Street and Denman Street, as well as Greek Day on Broadway in late June.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Commercial Drive
- Vancouver Summer Activities
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Shopping Opportunities on Granville Island
- Restaurants in Vancouver
- Vancouver Shows & Entertainment