If you enjoy finding odd traditions and festivals to check out, this is for you. BC is home to some pretty strange annual celebrations, and many of them take place in small towns. So with that in mind, here are some small-town festivals to check out around the province this year – whether you’re looking for classic family-friendly fun, or something more kooky.
We’re just a week away from one of the most epic ski/snowboard events of the year in BC, and the good news is that anyone can compete in it! The Red Bull Homerun is back at Sun Peaks Resort for a thrilling day of racing down a ski course, followed by a massive après ski party. So whether you’re looking to ski or snowboard in the competition or take it all in as a spectator – this is definitely a weekend trip in the making.
When: Saturday, February 3rd
Where: Sun Peaks
Every year, the small town of Fort. St. John throws its signature High on Ice Winter Festival, which features professional ice carvings, exciting ice slides, and other winter-themed activities at Centennial Park. The 2024 festival will take place from February 16th to 19th.
When: February 16th to 19th
Where: Centennial Park, Fort St. John
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If you’re a fan of ‘the King,’ you’ve no doubt heard of Canada’s largest and longest-running Elvis festival, which takes place in Penticton every summer. Guests can enjoy Elvis look-a-like competitions, live music, and much more.
When: June 27th to 30th
Where: Okanagan Lake Park, Penticton
The Kelowna Rib Fest is as good a reason as any to visit Kelowna in the summertime, bringing locals and visitors alike together for some delicious BBQ eats and drinks, and live music.
When: July 5th to 7th
Yes, you read that right! In Nanaimo every July, there’s a World Championship Bathtub Race. Participants compete against each other in a race of motorized bathtubs as onlookers enjoy the spectacle, root for their favourites, and take part in
When: TBA, July 2024
Where: Nanaimo Harbour
This August, Kelowna’s popular Rock the Lake music festival is back with even more classic and alt-rock performances, and since 3-day passes are currently priced at $109, now’s a great opportunity to snag some lower-cost tickets!
Stay tuned for more info as it comes, including official dates and artist lineups.
When: TBA August, 2024
Where: Prospera Place Festival, Kelowna
Cost: $109 for 3-day passes
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The annual ArtsWell Festival is held in the small Cariboo town of Wells, which welcomes thousands of performers, artists, and music festival attendees every August. If you’re looking for a reason to explore small-town BC, this festival is truly a highlight.
When: August 2nd to 4th
Where: Wells, BC
Downtown Abbotsford’s annual Winter Jubilee is already set for Saturday, November 23rd, at which time the community will gather to enjoy a massive Christmas tree lighting, face painting, live music, Letters to Santa, cookie decorating, and more – from 4 to 8 pm.
When: Saturday, November 23rd
Where: Downtown Abbotsford, BC
From the last Thursday in November until the second Sunday in January, the town of Ladysmith will be alight with thousands of twinkling Christmas lights. Visitors can walk or drive down First Avenue to take it all in, and even participate in this year’s Light Up Parade on Friday, November 29th, which kicks the festival off.
When: Friday, November 29th
Where: Ladysmith, BC
And that’s a wrap on some charming small-town festivals to check out in BC this year.