Vancouver’s Parade of Lost Souls involves folk in Halloween costumes walking around, listening to music, enjoying live entertainment and having a good time.
In 2018 the event takes place on Saturday, October 27th.
2018 PARADE ROUTE
The parade route for the event in 2018 has been announced! This year it starts at Napier Street and Commerical Drive. See below for details.
Halloween Parade of Lost Souls
The Parade of Lost Souls takes place on the last Saturday in October in the Commercial Drive neighbourhood of Vancouver and is one of the city’s best and most interesting traditional events for adults at Halloween.
Each year the event takes place at a location not announced until the day before. The parade part of the event runs from 7 to 10 pm and the after-party continues from 9 pm until around 2 am.
New for 2018
New for 2018, the Parade of Lost souls features a Thriller Flash Mob workshop, a Time Warp Flash Mob workshop and a giant-puppet-making workshop, all taking place prior to the night of the parade.
The Thriller Flash Mob workshops happen at 1661 Napier Street at the Britannia Community Centre in the cafeteria on the evening of Tuesday, October 16th, as well as on the afternoons of the Saturday and Sunday of October 21-22. Thriller Flash Mob participants are expected to attend at least two out of the three workshops and pay a suggested donation of $10 per session (or at least $5 minimum). At the workshops participants learn the choreography of Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video and then practice the dance in preparation for show time on the last Saturday in October.
At the Parade of Lost Souls event in 2018 there is also a Time Warp Flash Mob. Workshops in preparation for that happen on the Fridays of October 12th and 19th from 5 until 6:30 pm. This time, instead of learning the moves to Michael Jackson’s Thriller video, folk practice the choreography of the Time Warp dance from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. The Time Warp Flash Mob rehearsals take place at the Dusty Flower Shop at 2050 Scotia Street and the cost is between $5 and $10 per session.
Also at the 2018 edition of the Parade of Lost Souls, folk who wish can learn how to make a giant puppet. The workshop for that is at the Moth Orbit Object Theatre at 1701 Powell Street on Sunday October 21st from 1 until 6 pm. Admission is by donation. Click Puppet Workshop for details.
Participation in the various workshops requires advanced registration. Click the above links (in green) for details about each event.
Parade Route Details
The parade route for 2018 isn’t announced until around midnight on Friday, October 26th. What was known in advance, however, is that the parade starts at the Britannia Library at 1661 Napier Street (or at least we’re pretty sure that’s where it’s been planned for a while to begin).
2018 Parade Route
Similar to the previous year, the parade route in 2018 starts at the corner of Napier Street and Commercial Drive and then makes its way through the back lanes around the Britannia Community Services Centre and surrounding buildings.
Although similar in some ways, the 2018 route is shorter than it was last year, and several other previous years, but still promises to be just as fun.
The 2018 procession begins in front of the Britannia Library and heads north towards the ice rink. From there it turns west and goes to the finish at the tennis courts, although with a couple of fairly significant in-and-out and in-and-around side diversions along the way.
Note: Don’t worry about not knowing where to go or having to memorize the parade route in advance. All you need to know is that it starts in front of the Britannia Library (at 1661 Napier Street). From there you can just follow the signs and all the people.
2017 Parade Route
For comparison, last year the “secret route” start for the parade was also at Napier Street just off Commercial Drive. The route also essentially circumnavigated the facilities of the Britannia Community Services Centre (at 1661 Napier Street) including the library there, Britannia School, a field and the parking lots.
From the Napier-at-Commercial-Drive start the route headed down the alley on the south side of Britannia School to Cotton Drive, through a gravel field, and to near the corner of William Street and Woodland Drive. From there it made its way north up along the lane beside the field just before McLean Drive, then along the north side of the main Britannia Centre parking lot, around the ice rink building and then along the outside of the swimming pool building before returning to the start.
The same as other years, along the pathways are various art installations and performance venues including, in 2017, at the Altar Ego Plaza, Third Eye Birds Eye Plaza, Cerebral Pathway, Threshold Alley, Carving Pavilion, Telegraph Arch, Thalumus Stage and the Main Stage.
Click Parade Route for a map of last year’s event.
About the Parade
The Parade of Lost Souls is a grassroots Halloween parade/event that happens on the Saturday closest to Halloween in October at a location that isn’t revealed until midnight of the day before.
In most years the event takes place in the neighbourhood of the Britannia Community Centre at 1661 Napier Street and includes a procession down Commercial Drive or some other nearby street, multiple small Halloween-themed live performances scattered around the neighbourhood, and several thousand participants roaming around in spooky costumes.
The Parade of Lost Souls is a non-profit event put on by the Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret – an artist collective of professional and emerging artists based in East Vancouver. As a non-profit event, donations for participation are strongly encouraged, with $5 being the suggested amount.
An official adults-only after-party usually happens, with tickets most years selling out long in advance.
Lost Souls After-Party
The Lost Souls After-Party is a ticketed event that takes place after the Parade of Lost Souls.
The last couple of years the After-Party has taken place at The Legion at 2205 Commercial Drive from 9 pm to 2 am. The 2017 event featured performances by Rosy Glow, Ingrid Hakanson and the Sex Traffic Panda DJ ensemble.
In 2018 the After-Party is at the Wise Hall which is located at 1882 Adanac Street.
Tickets for the After-Party cost between $20 and $30 depending on when you get them. Only about 250 tickets are available. The first 100 sold cost $20 each, the next 100 cost $25 and the last 50 are $30 per ticket.
Tickets can be purchased online. If not all sold out by event day they are sometimes also for sale at the Parade Information Booth on the Saturday. They are not, however, sold at the door of the venue on the day. Most years though, tickets sell out in advance.
In 2018, at the Wise Hall venue, the After-Party features a Mariachi band, DJ Pharmboy, DJ Tarran, a Go Go dancer, a Carnival band and lots of dancing and fun.
Tips and Advice
Below are a few tips to help you make the most out of your experience at the Parade of Lost Souls.
TIP #1: There are folk of all ages at the Parade of Lost Souls, but primarily adults. There is no beer garden and only a small number of food trucks selling things to eat. Plan to have dinner beforehand, plus perhaps a beverage or two to help with the festivities (assuming you’re 19+).
TIP #2: Wear a costume. It’ll add to your fun!
TIP #3: If you’ve never been to the event before, go! It’s a very interesting cultural experience.
TIP #4: If it has been raining in the previous few days (as it often does in October), wear boots. Some areas along the parade route can get muddy.
Check out the Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret website for more information about the Lost Souls Parade and After-Party.
For a list of other Halloween attractions and things to do, click any of the following:
- Lower Mainland Haunted Houses
- Halloween Weekend
- Vancouver Halloween Events
- Vancouver Children’s Halloween Activities
- Adult Halloween Activities