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. See below for details about events and activities that still took place, as well as events that normally happen on the Father’s Day weekend, but were cancelled in 2020. Details for most events for 2021 are to be determined.
This article contains information about the following topics:
Abbotsford’s Mini Donut Drive-Thru | PNE Car-B-Q | Taves Farm Butterfly Release | 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
Father’s Day Festivals & Events
Father’s Day in 2021 takes place on Sunday, June 20. Events that would normally be happening that weekend include Car Free Day events on Denman Street, on Main Street and in Maple Ridge. The Langley Food Truck Festival and Surrey Greek Food Festival also usually take place on the Father’s Day weekend, as does Sasquatch Days at Harrison Hot Springs.
Below is information about some of the most popular things to do on the Father’s Day weekend in the Lower Mainland in a typical year. In 2020, however, best activities included attending a drive-thru mini donut event at the Abbotsford Agrifair or PNE, staying close to home, visiting Parks and Beaches, and continuing to maintain physical distancing and taking precautionary measures with respect to COVID-19. Also good to know, admission to Vancouver’s Bill Reid Gallery was free on Father’s Day in 2020 because June 21st was also Indigenous People’s Day.
Abbotsford Mini Donut Event
New for 2020, especially designed for the COVID-19 situation, and actually happening this year, was a mini donut drive-thru event at the Abbotsford Agrifair in the Fraser Valley.
Earlier in the spring the PNE had a similar event and it sold out. The Abbotsford event promised to be equally popular. As a result, if you were craving donuts and wanted to treat Dad, folk 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.
At the Abbotsford event people could pre-purchase their tickets for specific time slots. They then showed up in their vehicles within their one-hour designated time to pick up their treats.
A ticket for two dozen donuts cost $20 and a ticket for four dozen cost $35 (plus fees). 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 which alone was 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.
PNE Car-B-Q Drive-Thru
In May 2020 the Pacific National Exhibition held its “A Taste of the PNE Mini Donut Drive Thru Experience” which 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 this time with barbecued ribs!
With the “Taste of the PNE CAR-B-Q Edition,” similar to the donut-themed event the month before and the one the same month in Abbotsford, people could pre-purchase tickets for set times and then pick up their treats at the PNE fairgrounds.
A few things made the “Taste of the PNE CAR-B-Q Edition” extra special. An obvious one is that it involves barbecued ribs! Yum! Another is 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). 2021 details are to be determined.
To learn more about this Father’s Day event see our article about the PNE Events.
Butterfly Release at Taves Farm
Taves Family Farm and Applebarn is a farm located at 333 Gladwin Road not far from the Abbotsford Airport. It has a petting zoo, kid-friendly activities, a cidery and a store with fresh produce.
As of early May 2020, due to COVID-19, Taves Farm wasn’t open to the public, although it was offering curbside pick-up for some of its products. On the Father’s Day Weekend, however, the venue hosted a special “Butterfly Release” event which was new for 2020.
For people who reserved a spot in advance by May 19th, families could show up at the farm at a designated time on either June 20th or 21st and pick up their Butterfly Release Package which included a real butterfly to release in the orchard, plus the option of a variety of refreshments.
Prices for packages ranged from $25 up to $70 and for every one purchased Taves Farm made a donation to the Abbotsford Food Bank.
Details for 2021 are to be confirmed.
Denman Street Car Free Day
Several Car Free Day events take place in Vancouver, including two major ones on the Father’s Day Weekend.
The West End Car Free Day usually takes place from noon until 7 pm on the Father’s Day Saturday 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 was cancelled for 2020 due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, although some activities still took place online. Details for 2021, however, are to be determined.
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 will instead, however, still took place. Details for the 2021 event are to be determined.
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.
As of early June, 2020, the outdoor attraction remained closed until further notice because of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the venue didn’t offer special activities on the Father’s Day weekend this year. Even Canada Day activities on July 1st were cancelled at the museum for 2020. 2021 details are to be confirmed.
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 did not happen.
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 the 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. However, 2021 details are to be confirmed.
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 and is now part of Maple Ridge Car Free Day which takes place on Father’s Day.
Similar to the food truck festival from previous years, Maple Ridge Car Free Day is free to attend and 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 for the 2021 event are to be confirmed.
Click Maple Ridge Car Free Day for more information.
The 5X Festival used to be called 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.
In 2019 the festival ran on the same weekend as Father’s Day. In 2020, because of the coronavirus pandemic, it was a virtual event which launched on June 11th (so not on Father’s Day) and finishes on the weekend of September 19th and 20th.
Events on the 2019 Father’s Day weekend last year included the 2 Vs 2 Bhangra Competition which involved over 30 Bhangra dance groups competing at Kwantlen Park Secondary School in Surrey on both the Friday and the 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 which has been held on Father’s Day weekend in the past.
In years when it does take place, at the event there are war canoe races, a salmon BBQ, live entertainment and craft activities. Admission to the event is free.
NOTE: This event was cancelled for 2020 due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Details for the 2021 event are to be determined.
Click Sasquatch Days for more information.
Old Car Sunday in Mission
Old Car Sunday in the Park takes place most years in Mission at Fraser River Heritage Park at 7494 Mary Street on the Father’s Day Sunday from 9 am until 4 pm most years. 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 did not happen in 2020. 2021 dates and details are to be confirmed.
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 has, however, been cancelled. 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 are amazing (and a great way to treat dads)! 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, including those in White Rock, Jericho, Kitsilano, Boundary Bay, Stanley Park and the list goes on.
- 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.)
- 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).
- Take Dad Boating – rent paddle boards, 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, in West Vancouver off the pier at either Ambleside or Dundarave, or in any of the Lower Mainland’s other great waterfront locations.
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.