Crowds at Vancouver Halloween Parade

Vancouver’s Halloween parade takes place on Granville Street in mid-October each year and features action heroes, dance school zombies and lots of fun.

The 2020 Halloween Parade was cancelled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. It was scheduled to return on October 10th in 2021. However, due to delays in BC’s Restart Plan, the event was cancelled once again.

In 2022 the parade takes place (hopefully) on Sunday, October 9th.

 

Halloween Parade on Granville

The Halloween Parade usually happens on a Sunday in mid-October starting at 11:00 am. In 2020, the Vancouver Halloween Expo was going to take place from October 9th to 11th with the parade on the 11th. However, the whole event was cancelled due to COVID-19.

In 2021, the Expo was supposed to run from Friday, October 8th to Sunday, October 10th (which was Thanksgiving Long Weekend). The parade was going to happen on the Sunday at 11:00 am. However, both the Expo and parade were cancelled for the second consecutive year. Hopefully the events return in 2022.

Parade entries in the Vancouver Halloween Parade aren’t particularly scary or gruesome. They’re mostly superheroes, Japanese anime characters and non-frightening girls dancing with zombie makeup. It’s all quite kid-friendly.

 

Thanksgiving Weekend in Vancouver

 

Halloween Parade Location

The parade route goes down Howe Street from around Davie to Smithe, then along Smithe to Granville Street, and then up Granville to Drake. In total, the route is about 2.4 km in length.

Thousands of people turn out for the Halloween Parade each year, which usually runs for just short of an hour. Parking downtown can be challenging, so be prepared to walk a ways or, better yet, take public transit if you can.

For more information on the event, check out the Vancouver Halloween Parade website.

 

Parade Zombie Dancers
Zombies on Granville Street

 

Parade Participation

The Vancouver Halloween Parade is free to watch, and everyone is allowed to participate.

As an individual you don’t have to pay to walk in the parade if your costume is at least 70% handmade. What’s more? If you have a video or photo album of you making the costume, and you meet a couple other requirements, you can actually get financially compensated for your efforts. You can receive up to a maximum of $200.

If you purchase your costume, or less than 70% is handmade, you can still join the parade as an individual, although you’ll need to purchase either a day or weekend pass to the Expo.

Businesses, non-profits, dance schools and marching bands can also participate (for varying costs and if meeting certain requirements).

For further details about participation see the Vancouver Halloween Expo and Parade website.

 

Superheroes at Vancouver Halloween Parade
Superheroes in the Vancouver Halloween Parade

 

Halloween Expo

The Vancouver Halloween Expo takes place on the parade day as well as the two days before. 2022 dates are October 7th to 9th.

The Halloween Expo isn’t a huge event. It’s of interest though to anyone that likes anime, superhero costumes and other Halloween stuff. Some events are free, others are ticketed and many have a distinct Asian and Japanese anime theme.

On the weekend a small number of activities typically take place in the underground ice rink area. More happen in the UBC building at Robson Square in a couple of rooms and at a small theatre. There is also usually a small vendor market and sometimes an anime-themed coffee shop.

The plaza outside the Vancouver Art Gallery is where you’ll find free live entertainment. In recent years there have been performances by a group of Taiko drummers, puppeteers and local bands.

In 2019 the free entertainment took place on the north side of the Art Gallery, on the side along Georgia Street. These free performances ran from 5 until 7 pm on Friday, and from noon until 7 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

In addition to the outdoor live entertainment, there was an indoor exhibition downstairs at UBC Robson Square at 800 Robson Street on both the Saturday and Sunday from noon until 7 pm. The 2021 indoor exhibition was going to take place there once again but only on the Sunday.

 

Halloween for Kids

 

Halloween Expo Admission

In the past a 1-Day Pass to the Vancouver Halloween Expo indoor exhibition has cost $10 at the gate or $8 if purchased online in advance. The price includes access to all ticketed programs and shows on either the Saturday or Sunday (when the exhibition runs on both days).

A Weekend Pass, meanwhile, hasw cost $15 at the gate or $13 online in advance. It includes admission to everything on both the Saturday and Sunday, plus the option to walk in the parade if you have a costume.

Family Passes are also available most years. These cost about $30 at the gate or $28 online. They’re good for 2 adults and up to 4 children ages 12 and under for either day.

Passes provide access to the live entertainment venues and the weekend Halloween market with vendors selling everything from Halloween costumes to mystic jewellery, action figure paraphernalia, anime art, face painting services and paintball game vouchers.

 

Halloween Haunted Houses

 

Other Information

To learn more about the event, check out the Halloween Expo’s website or click Vancouver Halloween Expo.

For more ideas on Halloween things to do with children, check out Vancouver Children’s Halloween Activities.

Interested in ideas on other things to do in October? Then check out the following: