No matter the time of year, there’s almost always a festival of some kind going on in BC – whether it’s the winter ice fest in Fort St. John – or one of Vancouver’s larger annual events. From bathtub and outhouse races to Canada’s longest-running Elvis festival, here are some of the strangest festivals you’ll find in BC.

Lumby Outhouse Race

The Lumby Outhouse Race comes around every winter, involving 20 teams racing over the snow in 3-sided outhouse ‘chariots’ that members construct themselves. The fast-paced afternoon has prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place – and the most decorated outhouse!

When: Sunday, January 21st
Where: Bessette Street, Lumby

High on Ice Winter Festival

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

Music Waste Festival 


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Taking place right here in Vancouver is the 100% volunteer-run Music Waste Festival, which is having its 30th annual event this year. The four-day festival is all about creating a fun, inclusive space for musicians and artists in the DIY scene, and putting on “some really good parties,” according to its website.

With the addition of Art Waste and Comedy Waste, the lineup now includes visual artists and comedians performing in a variety of experimental formats.

When: TBA summer 2024
Where: Locations around Vancouver

Penticton Elvis Festival

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

Nanaimo Marine Festival & Great International World Championship Bathtub Race

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

ArtsWells Festival

strangest festivals bc
Photo via Mary Matheson

This one’s more quirky than it is strange- but the 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

If you haven’t attended any of these strange festivals in BC, now’s your chance to add them to your bucket list for 2024!