July is amazing in Vancouver, with near perfect summer weather, Canada Day celebrations, music festivals, free concerts, fireworks, outdoor movies and more.
The 10 Plus Best Things to Do in Vancouver
For all sorts of reasons, July is arguably the absolute best month to be in Metro Vancouver.
Vancouver’s Best Festivals and Events in July
The following are ten of the top activities and reasons to be in Vancouver during the month of July (listed in alphabetical order). Regardless of what you like to do, you need to check out at least some of these fabulous events, many of which are absolutely free!
- Canada Day Celebrations – there’s lots happening on July 1st, including fireworks in Burrard Inlet and major festivities on the North Shore, Steveston Village, Surrey, downtown Vancouver and Whistler. Depending on where you live and want to spend the day, one of the Lower Mainland’s top Canada Day celebratory venues will be the place to be, with admission for most of them being FREE.
- Caribbean Days Festival – a FREE festival in North Vancouver in late July that, although smaller than other top events in July, still claims to be one of the largest cultural events of its kind in BC.
- Carnaval del Sol – taking place on the second weekend in July, this is one of Vancouver’s most fun and entertaining festivals. There are salsa dancers, all kinds of Latin music and fun for everyone. Don’t bother traveling to Mexico or Latin America – check out this highly recommended event instead! Admission is just $2 in 2018 (and free for seniors and young children).
- Uptown Live – a free Indie music festival and street party in New Westminster from noon until 9 pm (on July 21, 2018).
- Honda Celebration of Light – Vancouver’s FREE world-class fireworks competition begins in late July in English Bay. Attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators, this is one of the city’s biggest and most spectacular events.
- Khatsahlano Street Party – an event along Kitsilano’s West 4th Avenue that claims to be the city’s “largest FREE music and arts festival.”
- Surrey Fusion Festival – a major festival at Surrey’s Holland Park in mid-July that’s FREE and includes loads of live entertainment, food stalls and activities for people of all ages.
- Symphony in the Park – the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s FREE outdoor performance at beautiful Deer Lake Park in Burnaby in mid-July.
- Vancouver Folk Music Festival – an amazing time to take in live music performances and hang out all weekend at one of Vancouver’s best beaches. Folk Fest takes place in mid-July at Jericho Beach. It’s not free, but if you like folk music and the weather is good, it’s well worth the price.
- Port Moody Ribfest – a family-friendly weekend event in late July at Port Moody’s Rocky Point Park with BBQ rib vendors, live music and activities for children.
Other Lower Mainland Events in July
Also in July are a number of amazing street parties and other events including the following:
- Car Free Day on Commercial Drive – a massive and FREE street party along Vancouver’s Commercial Drive in early July.
- Columbia Street Food Truck Fest – another giant and FREE street festival with dozens of food trucks and live entertainment in downtown New Westminster in late July.
- Harrison Festival of the Arts – a festival featuring an art market and live music in the Fraser Valley at Harrison Hot Springs in mid-July.
Other Best Places to be in July
In addition to the above, and in addition to Vancouver’s regular best things to do in the summer (like hanging out at the beaches or exploring the region’s best parks), below are other exceptional things going on in July.
- KiteClash – Canada’s largest kiteboarding competition takes place at Squamish Spit in the summer.
- Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival – great Shakespearean and other related plays under the big tents at Vanier Park all month and continuing until late September. This is one of Vancouver’s best arts festivals, especially for folk that love theatre.
- Sounds of Summer Music Series – FREE outdoor concerts at various parks on weekday evenings in Surrey.
- North Vancouver Summer Concert Series – FREE outdoor concerts at various North Shore locations including in Lynn Valley and Edgemont Village.
- Richmond Night Market – a popular summer attraction that take place every weekend evening. Admission isn’t free, but it is cheap.
- Spirit of the People Powwow – the best place in July to experience Aboriginal culture is Chilliwack in July. The event is virtually free, at only a couple of dollars per person for the day. It’s not a huge event, but a good one at showcasing local First Nations culture. Everyone is welcome.
- Shipyard Night Market – a FREE summer night market on Friday evenings in North Vancouver that features live music, market stalls and dozens of food trucks.
- Theatre Under the Stars – outdoor musical theatre in Stanley Park from early July until mid to late August.
- Various FREE (to watch) cycling races in mid-July, including the Tour de Delta, Gastown Grand Prix, Giro di Burnaby and Tour de White Rock.
For a full list of top things to do in July, including sports and theatrical performances, check out Vancouver’s Best Places’ July Calendar.