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Sun Run, Vaisakhi and 4-20 highlight weekend festivities in Metro Vancouver

Past editions of the Surrey Vaisakhi parade, the Vancouver Sun Run and 4-20 celebrations at Sunset Beach are seen in these file photos. (CTV News) Past editions of the Surrey Vaisakhi parade, the Vancouver Sun Run and 4-20 celebrations at Sunset Beach are seen in these file photos. (CTV News)

Large gatherings are the theme of the weekend in Metro Vancouver, with several big crowds expected to assemble for very different reasons. Here's what's happening.

Surrey Vaisakhi parade

A week after Vancouver's Nagar Kirtan, it's Surrey's turn to celebrate the Sikh festival of Vaisakhi this Saturday.

Organizers of the Surrey parade say it's the largest Vaisakhi celebration in the world, with approximately 500,000 people expected to assemble along the route from Gurdwara Dashmesh Darbar Temple down 124 Street and back. 

Stages and food stalls line the route, and people of all backgrounds are welcome.

Vancouver Sun Run

On Sunday, crowds and road closures are coming to downtown Vancouver and False Creek for the 40th Vancouver Sun Run.

Canada's largest road race and the third-largest timed 10K race in North America, the Sun Run course begins at Georgia and Thurlow streets and runs through the West End, across the Burrard Street Bridge and around False Creek to the finish line near Rogers Arena.

Non-participants are welcome to cheer on the runners along the route, and to check out the Sun Run Expo at the Vancouver Convention Centre, which is open from noon to 7 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. 

4-20 festivities

While the longtime organizers of Vancouver's annual April 20 cannabis protest/celebration were not involved in planning last year's event at Sunset Beach and are sitting out this year's festivities as well, there is still a gathering in the works, according to event listings on Facebook

A variety of other 4-20 events and parties are also scheduled, including "420 Grassroots" in East Vancouver, New Amsterdam Cafe's annual 4-20 party and "42024" at The Birdhouse in Mount Pleasant. 

Other festivals

Several other large events are also taking place this weekend, including Brewhalla North Vancouver on Friday night, the Coast City Country Festival at BC Place and the Commodore Ballroom, and the sold-out BrickCan LEGO exhibition at River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond.  

Saturday is also Record Store Day, an annual event that sees musicians issue exclusive vinyl releases and often draws long lineups at participating shops. 

Earth Day at Vanier Park

Earth Day is Monday, April 22, but three attractions in Vanier Park are inviting the public to celebrate early.

"The Museum of Vancouver, the Vancouver Maritime Museum and the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre join forces as representations of land, sea and sky to honour the Earth on April 20 with kid-friendly activities," the museum says on its website, which also has a schedule of events. 

Activities include poetry readings, crafts and a storytime, with admission by donation to the land and sea portions of the event.

Verses Festival of Words

This weekend also marks the start of the Verses Festival of Words, which begins Thursday and runs through April 27.

Now in its 10th year, the event is billed as "Canada’s largest alternative literary festival." It features poetry readings and workshops, as well as the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam, which is a national championship competition.

A schedule of events, lists of participating poets and ticket information can be found on the Verses website. Top Stories

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