There is a lot happening in Vancouver on the Labour Day Long Weekend in September 2020 including free concerts, festivals, markets and the PNE.
In 2020 Labour Day takes place on Monday, September 7th (which is five days later in September than it was last year).
September Long Weekend in the Lower Mainland
Wondering how to make the most of your time before school starts back up and life returns to normal? Then have fun getting the most out of the last few days of summer at any one of a number of great Labour Day Weekend activities.
Below is a list of the main things happening. Click what interests you for more information, or scroll down for details on them all.
- North Vancouver Night Market – the Shipyard Night Market is on the Friday.
- Richmond World Festival – a free family-friendly multicultural event at Minoru Park.
- Bands on the Beach – free live music at Harrison Hot Springs.
- Nikkei Matsuri – Japanese cultural activities in Burnaby.
- Pacific National Exhibition – amusement rides, concerts and fair activities at the PNE.
- Chilliwack Sunflower Festival – fields of beautiful flowers on a farm in the Fraser Valley.
- Victory Square Block Party – live music in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side.
- Bard on the Beach – Shakespearean theatre performances under a giant Big Top-style tent at Vanier Park.
- Other Events – other activities including night markets, farmers markets and theatre.
Below is the more detailed list with information on each event.
North Vancouver Night Market
In North Vancouver’s Lower Lonsdale District
The Lower Mainland’s massive Shipyards Night Market takes place at Shipbuilders’ Square in 2020 on Friday, August 40th, from 5 until 10 pm. The evening features dozens of artisan vendors, food trucks and a beer garden. Last year the evening concert was with the R&B, Blues and Soul band R & B Conspiracy. Music in 2020 will be comparable. Admission is free.
Click Shipyards Night Market for more information about the Friday evening event.
Richmond World Festival
At Richmond’s Minoru Park
The Richmond World Festival is a free event taking place on the Friday and Saturday of the long weekend at Minoru Park at 7191 Granville Street in Richmond. In 2019 it took place the weekend of August 30th and 31st. In 2020 will likely be on September 4th and 5th.
The festival features live music, lots of food, and all sorts of cultural things from different parts of the globe. It’s a great event and suitable for people of all ages.
Free concerts at the Richmond World Festival in 2019 included performances by headliner bands Mazacote and Bedouin Soundclash (on the Friday) and The Strumbellas (on the Saturday). Camaro 67, the VOC Sweet Soul Gospel Choir, John Welsh & Los Valientes and many others also performed at the event last year.
TIP: Consider taking public transit. The Richmond Centre shopping mall is fairly close by, and on the other side of it is the Richmond-Brighouse SkyTrain Station. Minoru Park is about a 10-minute walk from the station, but it’ll probably take you at least that long to find parking.
Click Richmond World Festival for more information.
Bands on the Beach
At Harrison Hot Springs
The beautiful resort town of Harrison Hot Springs hosts its annual Bands on the Beach event which features free live music by the lake. Bring your lawn chair and listen to the concerts on the beach in the afternoon on both the Saturday and Sunday.
Music all weekend includes everything from Indie to Country to Bluegrass.
TIP #1: While at Harrison Hot Springs, make the most out of your trip and check out some of the area’s attractions. Highlights include the beach at nearby Sasquatch Provincial Park, the Harrison Water Park, and boat rides with Shoreline Tours.
TIP #2: Arrive well before noon to improve your chances of finding convenient parking.
TIP #3: Don’t forget your swimsuit!
Click Bands on the Beach for more information.
Nikkei Matsuri is a Japanese festival held at the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre in Burnaby on the Saturday and Sunday of the Labour Day Weekend. Free activities take place outdoors in the garden and indoor activities costing about $4 admission include a Game Zone, Matsuri Marketplace and performances.
The Nikkei Museum is located at 6688 Southoaks Crescent in Burnaby and the festival runs most years from 11 am until 7 pm on both days. 2020 details are to be confirmed.
TIP: While you’re there, be sure to try some of the Japanese festival food! Okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancakes) and takoyaki (fried octopus) are two of our favourites!
For more details, click Nikkei Matsuri.
Pacific National Exhibition (“the PNE”)
The Fair in Vancouver
Without a doubt, the PNE is the weekend favourite for hundreds of thousands of Vancouverites. At only about $18 for adults and free for children under 14 (not including rides), it’s the best annual fair deal in Canada.
Pacific National Exhibition activities include the SuperDogs, Kidz Discovery Farm, nightly music concerts and all the great carnival rides.
In 2020 the first day of the PNE is Saturday August 22nd. It then runs until the Labour Day Weekend and finishes on Monday, September 7th.
Concerts at the PNE during the September Long Weekend last year included the following (and 2020 will be similar):
- Friday, August 30th, 2019 – MC Hammer with Special Guest Bobby Brown
- Saturday, August 31st – Billy Idol
- Sunday, September 1st – The Beach Boys
- Monday, September 2nd – TLC (25th Anniversary)
Click PNE Night Live Music for more information about the concerts.
TIP: If you don’t like huge lineups and masses of people, try to visit the PNE on a week day before the long weekend when the crowds aren’t quite so crazy.
CULTUS LAKE END-OF-SUMMER FUN!
The Labour Day Long Weekend is your final opportunity to visit the Cultus Lake Adventure Park with all its amazing rides. It’s your last chance of the season to enjoy the slides at the Cultus Lake Waterpark too. Both places are so much fun and highly recommended!
Chilliwack Sunflower Festival
In Chilliwack in the Fraser Valley
The Chilliwack Sunflower Festival features acres and acres of both sunflowers and dahlias on a farm in Chilliwack. It’s usually open from early August until the middle of September (but exact dates will depend on the weather and summer growing conditions).
In addition to fields of flowers to admire and stroll around the event offers tractors to climb on, kid-friendly activities and amazing photo opportunities.
For more information, click Chilliwack Sunflower Festival.
Victory Square Block Party
In Vancouver’s Downtown East Side
The Victory Square Block Party is a small to medium-sized event in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside on the Sunday that features live music from around 2 to 9 pm at Victory Square at 316 West Hastings Street.
TIP: If you happen to be in the area anyway, and you like live music, you might want to check it out. Not everyone however is a fan of the neighbourhood. It’s close to historic Gastown though and only about 5 blocks from the edge of Chinatown.
Bard on the Beach
Bard on the Beach is Vancouver’s world-famous Shakespearean theatre company. It has shows running all long weekend (and continuing up until September 26th). Plays to see in 2020 include Love’s Labour’s Lost, Henry V, Paradise Lost and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
If you like theatre, especially plays by Shakespeare, you won’t want to miss seeing these shows!
Many of Vancouver’s regular yet still phenomenal weekly summer events also occur over the September Long Weekend including the region’s world-famous night markets, farmers markets and live theatre shows. See below for more details.
- Serbian Days – a free community event celebrating Serbian culture at Saint Sava Church at 505 East 63rd Avenue in Vancouver on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday. (To be confirmed for 2020.)
- Labour Day at Burnaby Village – special family-friendly activities take place between 11:00 am and 4:30 pm on the Holiday Monday.
- Richmond Night Market – at 8351 River Road in Richmond starting at 7 pm all four days of the Long Weekend.
- Bard on the Beach – Vancouver’s famous Shakespearean theatre.
- Saturday Farmers Markets – great places to pick up long weekend picnic supplies on the Saturday can be found in Abbotsford, Burnaby, Fort Langley, Lonsdale Quay, Maple Ridge, Squamish, Trout Lake and the West End.
- Sunday Farmers Markets – taking place as they do most weekends in the summer at Ambleside, Coquitlam, Kitsilano, Mt. Pleasant, Steveston Village, White Rock and Whistler.
- Taiwanese Cultural Festival – a cultural event along Granville Street from Robson Street to West Pender on the Labour Day Long Weekend.
- Pioneer Days at Kilby Farm – special activities at Kilby Historic Site in the Fraser Valley on the Saturday and Sunday.
- Labour Union-Related Events – the Labour Day holiday wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for unions and their efforts to protect worker rights. Below are two events organized by the labour movement to celebrate the day
- Labour Day at Jack Poole Plaza – hosted by the Vancouver & District Labour Council, the Vancouver event last year went from 12:00 until 5:00 pm at Jack Poole Plaza beside the Vancouver Convention Centre. Speakers included union representatives, Mayor Kennedy Stewart and others. The rally in 2019 ran from 12:30 until 1:00 pm. Live music after that was with the band Cease & Desist. Family-friendly activities included bouncy castles, face painting, balloon animals and a juggling camp. (2020 details are to be confirmed.)
- Labour Day Picnic – hosted by the New Westminster & District Labour Council, the picnic happened last year at Holland Park in Surrey between 11:30 am and 2:30 pm. Activities included live music and kid-friendly things to do. (2020 details are to be confirmed.)
Other Things to do in September
Looking for other things to do in September in the Lower Mainland on different days and weekends? Then check out Vancouver’s Best Places’ September Calendar of Events. Or, if you just want to find a beautiful place to hang out, check out Vancouver’s best places in parks and nature.
Happy End of Summer Holidays!