Vancouver’s Parade of Lost Souls involves folk in Halloween costumes walking around, listening to music, enjoying live entertainment and having a good time.
The event normally takes place on the weekend just before Halloween. In 2019 though it took place on Saturday, November 2nd. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, this event didn’t happen in 2020. Hopefully the actual Parade of Lost Souls will be able to happen again in 2021.
Halloween Parade of Lost Souls
In years when it does take place, the Parade of Lost Souls happens on the closest Saturday to Halloween in the Commercial Drive neighbourhood of Vancouver. It is arguably 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.
Last year the Parade of Lost souls featured a Rhythm Nation Flash Mob workshop, a Time Warp Flash Mob workshop, a jellyfish umbrella-making workshop and a giant-puppet-making workshop, all of which took place prior to the night of the parade.
The Rhythm Nation Flash Mob workshops happened at 1661 Napier Street at the Britannia Community Centre in the cafeteria in the afternoon on the Sundays of October 13th, 20th and 27th, as well as in the evening of Monday October 28th.
At the 2019 event, Rhythm Nation Flash Mob participants were asked 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 learned the choreography of Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation music video and then practiced the dance in preparation for show time.
At the Parade of Lost Souls event there was also a Time Warp Flash Mob. Workshops in preparation for that happened on the Saturdays of October 12th, 19th and 26th from 12:00 until 2:00 pm. This time, instead of learning the moves to Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation video, folk practiced the choreography of the Time Warp dance from the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
The Time Warp Flash Mob rehearsals took place at the Dusty Flower Shop at 2050 Scotia Street and the cost was between $5 and $10 per session.
New for 2019 was the addition of workshops where participants could learn how to make a jellyfish umbrella. Folk could choose either the October 21st or 25th workshop (or both). Umbrellas and craft supplies were not provided, but decorations for the umbrellas were. There were also some umbrellas available for purchase but supply was limited.
The workshops were held at 1661 Napier Street at the Britannia Community Centre in the cafeteria. Click Jellyfish Umbrella Workshop for details.
Also at the 2019 edition of the Parade of Lost Souls, folk learned how to make a giant puppet. The workshop for that was at the Moth Orbit Object Theatre at 1701 Powell Street on Sunday October 20th from 3:00 until 7:00 pm. Admission was by donation. Click Puppet Workshop for details.
Participation in the various workshops required advance registration. Click the above links (in green) for details about each event.
Parade Route Details
The parade route for 2018 wasn’t announced until around midnight on the Friday before the parade. In 2019 though it was announced around two weeks in advance.
2019 Parade Route
Similar to the previous year, the parade route in 2019 started at the corner of Napier Street and Commercial Drive and then made its way through the back lanes around the Britannia Community Services Centre and surrounding buildings.
The 2019 procession began in front of the Britannia Library and headed north towards the ice rink. From there it turned west and went 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.
Some notable stops in 2019 included the secret dance party and a carving centre.
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 very close to the date of the parade.
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.
What the organizers of the Parade of Lost Souls planned to do in 2020 was send out a letter of invitation to people in the area to encourage them to do a series of programmed activities themselves on their own front lawns on Halloween night between 6:30 and 8:00 pm.
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 was at the Wise Hall.
The 2019 After-Party also took place at the Wise Hall at 1882 Adanac Street. The event was for folk aged 19 or older and it ran from 9:00 pm until 1:00 am.
Tickets for the After-Party cost between $25 and $35 plus taxes and fees depending on when you bought them. Only about 250 tickets are usually available, each of which typically cost $25 in advance online and $35 at the door.
Tickets could be purchased online. If not all sold out by event day they are also sold at the door of the venue (which is a change from previous years).
In 2019, at the Wise Hall venue, the After-Party featured DJ Sweet Anomaly, Tarran the Tailor and more.
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