Ready to ring in the Lunar New Year? Vancouver’s Chinatown Spring Festival & Parade is set to celebrate its 50th anniversary this weekend, making the celebration even bigger and better than ever. And the fact that we’re ringing in the Year of the Dragon is just the cherry on top!
Attracting over 200,000 visitors last year, Chinatown’s signature event has become an “enduring celebration of diversity and community spirit,” according to the festival director (and President of the Chinese Benevolent Association of Vancouver), Helen Qian.
Qian also notes that it’s become the largest Spring Festival Celebration in Canada – organized by a mighty team of esteemed institutions. This includes the Chinese Benevolent Association of Vancouver, the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver, Vancouver Chinatown Merchants Association, S.U.C.C.E.S.S., Chinese Freemasons Vancouver Branch, and Shon Yee Benevolent Association of Canada.
Not only is the event one of the largest non-commercial annual parades in the city, but it also features the largest assembly of traditional lion dance teams in Canada.
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Looking to extend the LNY celebration? The Spring Festival Cultural Fair will take place on the same day as the parade (February 11th) from 2 to 4 pm at the Chinese Cultural Centre, bringing a variety of multicultural artistic performances to Dr. Sun Yat-sen Garden Courtyard.
This includes live drama, singing, and dancing performances, as well as Lunar New Year celebration booths – all of which are free to enjoy.
Parade route & info
According to the organizers’ website, the 1.3 km long route starts at the Millennium Gate on Pender Street (between Shanghai Alley and Taylor Street), proceeding east along Pender Street.
Then, the parade will turn south onto Gore Street, turn west onto Keefer Street, and end on Keefer and Carrall.
The 50th annual parade will commence at 11 am on Sunday, February 11th, and last approximately three hours in duration.
According to the festival website, parade participants include representatives from all three levels of the government, military and police representatives, diplomats from China and various countries, as well as community groups, lion dance troupes, and dragon dance teams – to name a few.
So there you have it, Vancouver! Mark your calendars – and Happy Lunar New Year!
When: Sunday, February 11th
Where: 50 East Pender Street & along Pender Street