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.
Halloween Parade on Granville
The Halloween Parade usually happens on a Sunday in mid-October starting at 11 am. In 2018 it took place on Sunday, October 7th, so a week or so earlier than most years. In 2019 it’s scheduled to take place on October 13th (so on the Thanksgiving Long Weekend).
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. It 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 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 takes 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 usually free live entertainment. In recent years there have been performances by a group of Taiko drummers, a puppeteer and a local band. In 2017 the free performances took place on the south side of the Art Gallery, so right by Robson Square. In 2018 the free performances were instead on the side along Georgia Street.
Last year the indoor exhibition took place downstairs at UBC Robson Square at 800 Robson Street on both the Saturday and Sunday from 12 until 7 pm. There were also outdoor performances in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s North Plaza on the Friday from 3 until 7 pm and on both the Saturday and Sunday from noon until pm. 2019 will be the same or at least similar.
Halloween Expo Admission
Last year 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 2018, meanwhile, cost $15 at the gate or $13 online in advance. It included admission to everything on both the Saturday and Sunday, plus the option to walk in the parade if you have a costume. 2019 will be similar.
Family Passes are also available most years for $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 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