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. Hopefully it will be able to return for 2021.
Halloween Parade on Granville
The Halloween Parade usually happens on a Sunday in mid-October starting at 11 am. In 2019 it took place on Sunday, October 13th (so on the Thanksgiving Long Weekend). In 2020, the event was going to occur from October 9th to 11th. However, was cancelled along with the Halloween Expo due to COVID-19.
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 – so it’s very kid-friendly.
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 Vancouver Halloween Parade.
The Vancouver Halloween Parade is typically 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 an online video of you making the costume, and you meet other requirements, you can actually get financially compensated for your efforts (up to a maximum of $200), or at least that was the case in 2018.
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.
The Vancouver Halloween Expo takes place on the parade day as well as the two or so days before.
In 2019 the Halloween Expo took place from October 11th to 13th.
On the Friday there are usually evening shows at Robson Square at 800 Robson Street. On the Saturday and Sunday most years there is an exhibition with performances from noon until around 7 pm also at Robson Square.
The Halloween Expo isn’t a huge event, but it’s of interest 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, but more 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.
In the plaza outside the Vancouver Art Gallery there is also free live entertainment. In recent years there have been performances by a group of Taiko drummers, a puppeteer and a local band.
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 taking place downstairs at UBC Robson Square at 800 Robson Street on both the Saturday and Sunday from noon until 7 pm.
Halloween Expo Admission
For 2019, a 1-Day Pass to the Vancouver Halloween Expo cost $10 at the gate or $8 if purchased online in advance. The price included access to all ticketed programs and shows on either the Saturday or Sunday.
A Weekend Pass in 2019, meanwhile, 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, and 2019 was no exception. These cost $30 at the gate or $28 online. They are good for 2 adults and up to 4 children ages 12 and under for either day.
Passes usually 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.
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:
- Vancouver Fall Activities
- Vancouver Halloween Events
- Vancouver’s October Calendar
- Vancouver Shows and Entertainment