The Father’s Day weekend in Vancouver usually includes Car Free Day street parties, live music events and festivals throughout the region.
2020 was different from most years given the situation with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic. 2021 will be very different too.
See below for details about events and activities that still took place last year. Events that normally happen on Father’s Day weekend but cancelled in 2020 are listed too.
Father’s Day in 2021
The following is a list of activities happening on the Father’s Day weekend in 2021. Further below is a list of events that normally happen on the Father’s Day weekend, or that at least happened last year.
Other fun things you can do on Father’s Day include walking tours with Forbidden Vancouver and outdoor adventure games with Vancouver Mysteries. A number of attractions are also open, including the Vancouver Maritime Museum and FlyOver Canada (the latter of which has a new film about Hawaii). There are also ropes course activities at WildPlay in Maple Ridge and lots of other fun activities all over the Lower Mainland.
For an extra treat for Father’s Day, consider doing any one or more of the above activities. You can then stay overnight with the family at a hotel in downtown Vancouver. Check out StayVancouverHotels.com Deals for competitive rates and bonus perks if you choose to do so.
To learn more about what’s happening in the Lower Mainland on the Father’s Day weekend see the following articles:
- Vancouver’s June Calendar
- What’s Open in COVID-19 Vancouver
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Best Activities for Children
- Vancouver Summer Activities
Father’s Day Festivals & Events
However, Car Free Day in 2021 will continue to be different. The festival takes place this year in a new format, and as a new event, called Car Free Month. It runs from August 29th to September 25th (so not in July at all). Further details about locations and schedules are yet to be released as of mid-June.
The Langley Food Truck Festival and Surrey Greek Food Festival also usually take place on Father’s Day weekend. Sasquatch Days at Harrison Hot Springs does as well. These events won’t be happening in 2021, at least not in their usual live in-person formats.
Below is information about some of the most popular things to do on Father’s Day weekend in the Lower Mainland in a typical year.
In 2020, best activities included attending a drive-thru mini donut event at the Abbotsford Agrifair and PNE, staying close to home, visiting Parks and Beaches, and continuing to maintain physical distancing and taking precautionary measures with respect to COVID-19.
Below is information about the following topics from Father’s Day in past years:
Abbotsford’s Mini Donut Drive-Thru | PNE Car-B-Q | Denman Street Car Free Day | Main Street Car Free Day | Father’s Day at Burnaby Village | Surrey Greek Food Festival | Maple Ridge Car Free Day | 5X Festival | Sasquatch Days | Old Car Sunday | Other Father’s Day Activities
Abbotsford Mini Donut Event
A mini donut drive-thru event at the Abbotsford Agrifair in the Fraser Valley took place last year. It was designed especially for the COVID-19 situation.
The PNE had a similar event and it sold out earlier in the spring. The Abbotsford event promised to be equally popular. As a result, if you were craving donuts and wanted to treat Dad, folks were recommended to reserve their spots well in advance!
The Mini Donut Drive-Thru at the Abbotsford Agrifair took place in 2020 on June 19th, 20th and 21st between 11:00 am and 7:00 pm.
People could pre-purchase their tickets for specific time slots at the Abbotsford event. They then showed up in their vehicles within their one-hour designated time to pick up their treats.
A couple of things made this an especially good deal. One was that for every ticket purchased you got two free tickets to the Abbotsford Agrifair in 2021. These tickets alone were worth between about $24 and $30! Second, instead of getting all your treats from just one place, your package included a selection of donuts from four different vendors.
To learn more about the organization behind this event, see our article about the Abbotsford Agrifair.
PNE Car-B-Q Drive-Thru
In May 2020 the Pacific National Exhibition held “A Taste of the PNE Mini Donut Drive Thru Experience.” It was a tremendously successful event that sold out, got extended and then sold out again. On the Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday of June 18th to 21st they did something similar, but that time with barbecued ribs!
A few things made the “Taste of the PNE CAR-B-Q Edition” extra special. An obvious one was that it involved barbecued ribs. Yum! Another was the fact that the event was combined with a display of classic and custom cars. While you drove in to pick up your meal you could admire a collection of beautiful shiny vehicles presented by 360 Fabrication, which is a company in the Fraser Valley that customizes and restores classic vehicles.
One more great thing about the “Taste of the PNE CAR-B-Q Edition” was that for every ticket purchased you got two tickets to opening day at the Pacific National Exhibition in 2021 (which for adults is worth about $36 dollars). Unfortunately, the PNE isn’t hosting a drive-thru event on Father’s Day in 2021.
To learn more about what’s happening this year at the Pacific National Exhibition, see our article about PNE Events.
Denman Street Car Free Day
Several Car Free Day events take place in Vancouver on most years, including two major ones on Father’s Day Weekend.
The West End Car Free Day usually takes place from noon until 7 pm on the Saturday of Father’s Day weekend on Denman Street between Robson Street and Davie. The dozen or so blocks of this trendy neighbourhood are full of pedestrians, market vendors, street entertainers and musicians.
NOTE: This event didn’t take place in 2020 due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, although some activities still happened online. Again in 2021, the live event isn’t happening. As mentioned above, in its place, Car Free Month runs from August 29th to September 25th. It’ll likely feature a number of smaller events, although exact details are to be confirmed.
Click Denman Street Car Free Day for more information.
Main Street Car Free Day
Main Street Car Free Day usually takes place from noon until 7 pm on Father’s Day Sunday. In years when it isn’t cancelled due to pandemics, the event runs along Main Street from East Broadway to about 30th Avenue. Similar to the street party on Denman Street the day before, it too is a massive event attracting tens of thousands of people.
Vancouver’s Car Free Day event on Main Street didn’t happen in 2020 because of health concerns about the COVID-19 virus. Online activities, however, still took place last year.
For more information about the Sunday Car Free Day event, click Main Street Car Free Day.
In addition to the Car Free Day events on Denman Street and Main Street, in years when they do take place, on both the Saturday and Sunday there are also usually smaller individual block parties throughout the Kitsilano region celebrating pedestrians too. Click Car Free Days for details about all of Metro Vancouver’s various car free day events.
Father’s Day at Burnaby Village
Burnaby Village Museum is always an interesting place to visit in the summer months, especially because it’s free! Father’s Day is an especially interesting time to visit though as they usually have vintage motorcycles and classic cars on display.
The place is usually open from 11:00 am until 4:30 and the day finishes with a small procession of cars at 3:30 pm.
Last year the attraction wasn’t open in June. In 2021, however, it is open, including on Father’s Day Weekend.
Click Burnaby Village for more information about the attraction.
Surrey Greek Food Festival
The Surrey Greek Food Festival is a cultural event involving food and the performing arts. In 2020 it was supposed to run from June 12th until the 21st (so finishing on Father’s Day which is the same as it does most years). Because of COVID-19, however, it didn’t happen.
The event isn’t happening in June this year, which means not on 2021 Father’s Day Weekend either. Organizers of the festival hope that it can run in either July or August, possibly as a drive-thru event. Exact details, however, are to be confirmed.
In years when it does take place, the event happens at the Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church at 13181 96th Avenue in Surrey. It usually runs from around 4:00 to 10:00 pm on the Friday of Father’s Day weekend and from 12:00 to 10:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Admission to the festival is free, but you pay for your food.
Click Surrey Greek Food Festival for more information.
Maple Ridge Car Free Day
The Maple Ridge Food Truck Festival is a street party-style food truck event featuring food vendors, an artisan market and live music. It used to happen in September and was a fairly small event. Since last year though, it has combined with other stakeholders. The festival is now part of Maple Ridge Car Free Day which takes place on Father’s Day (but not in 2021).
Similar to the food truck festival from previous years, Maple Ridge Car Free Day is free to attend. The event involves food trucks, vendors and live music. Car Free Day though is bigger and takes place in downtown Maple Ridge on 224th Street as well as at the Memorial Peace Park between the Lougheed Highway and Dewdney Trunk Road.
Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the car free day event did not take place on June 21st in 2020 as originally planned. Details about the locations and schedules for the 2021 Car Free Month are yet to be released.
Click Maple Ridge Car Free Day for more information.
The 5X Festival‘s previous name was the City of Bhangra Festival. It’s still an arts festival. The focus is now slightly less on the culture of the Punjabi though (but only slightly), and more on the culture of South Asia in general.
The festival ran on the same weekend as Father’s Day in 2019. Due to the pandemic, it was a virtual event in 2020 that launched on June 11th (so not on Father’s Day) and finished on the weekend of September 19th and 20th.
Events during the 2019 Father’s Day weekend included the 2 Vs 2 Bhangra Competition. The festival involved over 30 Bhangra dance groups competing at Kwantlen Park Secondary School in Surrey on both the Friday and Saturday. Another 5X Festival event was the free 5X Block Party which usually takes place at Surrey’s Central City Plaza on the same weekend.
Event details in 2021 are to be determined. Click 5X Festival for more information.
Sasquatch Days is a 2-day community festival at Harrison Hot Springs. This event has occurred on Father’s Day weekend in the past.
There are war canoe races and a salmon BBQ in years when the festival does take place. Live entertainment and craft activities are included as well. Admission to the event is free.
NOTE: The 2020 event didn’t take place due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Unfortunately, the 2021 event has been cancelled too.
Click Sasquatch Days for more information.
Old Car Sunday in Mission
Old Car Sunday in the Park takes place most years in Mission. The exact address is Fraser River Heritage Park at 7494 Mary Street. It usually happens on Father’s Day Sunday from 9 am until 4 pm. The event attracts hundreds of collectible and vintage automobiles and their owners, and thousands of car fans.
Admission for spectators is by donation. To participate with your vehicle costs about $10 if paid online in advance or $15 (cash only) at the gate (or at least those were the costs last year).
Due to the COVID-19 virus, the event didn’t happen in 2020. In 2021 the event at the park has been cancelled. In its place, however, there is a drive-by parade on June 20th in the afternoon.
Click Old Car Sunday to learn more about the car show.
TREAT DAD TO AN EVENING WITH SHAKESPEARE!
The Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival was going to run from June 10th until September 26th in 2020. It was, however, cancelled (and cancelled again in 2021, at least as a live in-person event). Tickets for virtual events are going on sale in June.
This year’s plays were going to include Paradise Lost, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Henry V and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The shows would have been amazing (and a great way to treat dads)! Hopefully the plays will be back again next year. See our article about Bard on the Beach for details.
Other Ways to Celebrate Father’s Day
In addition to all the above special events, there are many other ways to celebrate Father’s Day including the following:
- Spend the Day at the Beach – if the weather is good then a fabulous way to spend the day is at one of Vancouver’s best beaches. Popular spots include White Rock, Jericho, Kitsilano, Boundary Bay, Stanley Park and more.
- Father’s Day Walk/Run – a 2K, 5K and 10K walk or run at Burnaby Lake on the Sunday benefiting the BC Prostate Cancer Foundation. (It was going to take place around the lake on June 21st. It still took place in 2020, sort of, but in a virtual format. It’s happening in 2021 too, again in a format where you can run on your own anywhere you like.)
- Go for a Hike – take Dad and the family on any of Vancouver’s Best Hiking Trails at some of the region’s best parks.
- Take Dad out to a Restaurant – go out for brunch, lunch or dinner at any of Vancouver’s Best Restaurants (or at least order take-out or delivery).
- Spend Time with Dad on a Boat – rent paddleboards, kayaks or canoes at Alice Lake, Cultus Lake, Deep Cove, Deer Lake or any one of numerous other places in Metro Vancouver and the surrounding area.
- Take Dad Fishing – great fishing spots include North Vancouver’s Rice Lake and in West Vancouver off the pier at either Ambleside or Dundarave. Any of the Lower Mainland’s other great waterfront locations are good places too.
For ideas on things to do at other times in the month, see Vancouver’s Calendar of Events.
For a list of great kid-friendly activities throughout the year, check out our article about Best Places for Children.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Lower Mainland Summer Activities
- Outdoor Swimming Pools
- Vancouver’s Best Beaches
- Hiking in the Lower Mainland
- Vancouver Festivals and Events