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Dragon boats, Greek Day and more festivals in Metro Vancouver this weekend

The 2019 Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival is seen from the water in this photo from the event's website. (concorddragonboatfestival.ca) The 2019 Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival is seen from the water in this photo from the event's website. (concorddragonboatfestival.ca)
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Another weekend, another series of festivals to celebrate across Metro Vancouver. No fewer than four music festivals and two block parties are taking place around the region over the next three days, and that's not even counting the largest dragon boat festival in North America.

Here's what's happening:

Dragon boat festival

Organizers expect more than 130,000 people to attend the Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival on Saturday and Sunday.

More than 6,000 racers on 250 teams are scheduled to compete on False Creek, while land-based festivities include Vancouver’s first ever public drone show, live local music acts on the TD Main Stage, Chinatown, Indigenous and Pride pavilions, and a new family programming zone.

More than two dozen food trucks will be on site at Concord Pacific Place, which will also feature the city's largest outdoor licensed patio. Admission to festival activities is free, and more information can be found on the festival's website

Greek Day on Broadway

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Greek Day on Broadway. Sunday will see the Kitsilano thoroughfare closed to traffic between McDonald and Blenheim streets for a celebration of all things Greece.

"Greek food, live music, traditional dance performances and interactive activities" will be on offer from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., according to organizers

Strathcona Blocks Party

A smaller street shutdown is taking place on Saturday in East Vancouver. Developer Low Tide Properties is once again hosting the Strathcona Blocks Party, a celebration of the community along the 600 to 900 blocks of East Hastings Street.

While Hastings itself will not be closed to traffic, organizers are setting up a skateboard ramp on Campbell Avenue, and businesses along the street will be holding events on their sidewalks and in parking lots.

Among the offerings are a beer garden at Strathcona Beer and a kids zone in the parking lot at 840 E. Hastings St. The party starts at noon and continues until 5 p.m. More information on the festivities can be found on Low Tide's website

Ice cream festival begins

A different kind of festival kicking off this weekend is the second edition of the Vancouver Ice Cream Festival.

Beginning Friday and continuing through Aug. 5, participating ice cream and gelato shops around Metro Vancouver will be offering limited-time creations in connection to the "self-guided" festival.

Participants can complete "missions" and a festival "passport" to be entered to win prizes, according to the festival website

Multiple music festivals on offer

Four different music-centric festival-style events are planned for this weekend, from the venerable Vancouver International Jazz Festival to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank's "Foodstock" fundraiser.

Basic information and a link to ticket details for each event follows.

  • Vancouver International Jazz Festival: This year's event begins Friday and runs through June 30, with both free and ticketed performances at large and small venues across the city. 
  • 'Foodstock': Taking place Sunday at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, Foodstock will feature Yukon Blonde and The Matinee, with support from Mivule, The Hausplants, and Suppertime. Tickets are $35 and come with a beverage from one of the festival's drink partners. 
  • Westward Music Festival: Now in its seventh year, the Westward Music Festival will bring a diverse lineup of artists to four venues across the city – the Vogue Theatre, Fox Cabaret, Biltmore Cabaret, and Red Gate Arts Society – on Saturday and Sunday. 
  • Summer Camp: Billing itself as a "rib and music festival," Summer Camp is taking place Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Mount Pleasant's Jonathan Rogers Park. Admission is free, but tickets are required and can be booked online. 

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