Top 10 Things to Do in July…Other than Going to the Beach

Posted by Viola Chen & filed under Food, Music, Pop Culture.

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July is here and school is officially out! It’s the summer month when most people are likely to travel. The weather is nice but not too hot like August. For those who can’t travel this year and are in Vancouver, I suggest you have a “staycation” and check out what exciting things await you this July!

And for those visiting Vancouver, well, let me just tell you that this will be a fun-filled month for you! You will surely get a taste of the different cultures that Vancouver has to offer to you. Lots of the events below show and cater to the diversity that is present in Vancouver. Your trip around the world, but much less expensive!

10. Canada Day: July 1st

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To start off the beautiful month of July, there will be lots to celebrate on July 1st. July for me is always marked by Canada Day. It’s the day where I feel that the whole city is alive and out celebrating. We’ve been lucky too that it’s always been sunny in the past, making it a nice way to commence the summer. Lots of things will be taking place in Vancouver that day. You can catch the many parades and festivals in Richmond, Granville Island, and Canada Place. Just get out your red and white gear and you’ll be ready to carry on with the festivities. If you’re more of a high roller, you’ll be happy to know that there are Canada Day cruises happening.

This year Canada Day luckily falls on Sunday, so it’s a great way to spend time with family and friends while celebrating. For those who are fans of fireworks, you can end the day with extravagant Canada Day firework celebrations. The spectacle will take place at the Burrard Inlet, but will be visible from multiple places in downtown and West Vancouver. This year I might check out the first annual Canada Day Block Party at the Waldorf Hotel. It looks promising, with Vancouver food carts, DJs, a carnival and much more. And for you soccer fans, don’t miss out on watching the Euro Cup finals! Commercial will probably the best place to watch it. Happy Canada Day!

9. Summer Playland Festival: July 6th-8th

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The second weekend of July will hold the “first true teen music festival in North America.” The Summer Playland Festival (SPF) looks promising and definitely appealing to young adults that will be staying in Vancouver this summer! Carly Rae Jepsen, known for her #1 hit Call Me Maybe will be performing that weekend along with other big artists like OneRepublic, Joe Jonas, Marinas Trench, Gym Class Heroes and much more.  I am way past my teen years but I would consider going to this! What’s more fun than listening to good music and riding on PNE attractions?

8. Indian Summer Festival: July 5th-15th

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Do you enjoy the Indian culture, and wish to indulge in it but can’t afford a trip right now? Well not to worry because during the 10 days of the Indian Summer Festival, there will be lots of opportunities to enjoy Indian cuisine, music and more, all while being in Vancouver! I am really excited to check it out. The opening gala itself sounds promising; it features Chef Vikram Vij, owner of the highly known and esteemed Vij’s restaurant.

7. Folk Music Festival: July 13rd-15th

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Artists from all over the world will be at performing at this year’s 35th annual Folk Music Festival. The Folk Festival, like any other music festival, is an amazing experience. This year the festival will be held at Jericho Beach. Some artists that you might not want to miss out on are K’naan, Bette and Wallet, Jaron Freeman-Fox, Dan Mangan, Ani DiFranco, and Murray McLauchlan This year the festival seems to have a great variety of artists, from very folk-fest veterans to more contemporary folk artists who have been inspired and influenced by hip hop and indie. Arabic, Turkish, and Afrobeats will also be present at the Festival. A first timer of the music festival that I look forward to hearing is Emel Mathlouthi; she is a Tunisian singer that contributed to the Arab Spring. There is something for everyone!

6. Surrey Fusion Festival: July 21st-22nd

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This year’s Fusion festival will be bringing the best three things to together: music, food and culture. With a great line-up, diversity of cultural flavours and pavilions, the festival is one you do not want to miss! Walk Off the Earth, best known for their viral video cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” will be performing along with INDANATION a local band that has hit the international Bhangra scene. With a diversity of artists, the festival is sounding to be very exciting! Many pavilions will also show case food and crafts from countries all over the world.

5. Peruvian festival: July 28th

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If you missed the Peruvian pavilion at the Surrey Fusion Festival, you have another day to celebrate the wonderful Peruvian culture on July 28th. There will be food vendors, live music and dance at the Ukraine Catholic centre. This is the first annual Peruvian festival that will ever be held in Vancouver, so this is definitely going to be an anticipated event.

4. 25th Annual Caribbean Days Festival: July 28th-29th

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The Caribbean festival is far from dull! You can certainly expect a weekend of tropical rhythm, cuisine, carnival and culture. At North Vancouver’s waterfront park, you can expect parading, dancing, music and dining Caribbean style.

3. Celebration of Lights: July 28th, Aug 1st and 4th

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When I think of Vancouver summer I always remember the Celebration of Lights. It’s definitely one of the biggest events in Vancouver. Every year for as long as I can remember I have attended the Celebration of Lights. It’s a nice chance to just chill with friends on the beach for the day and then at night cozy up in blankets to watch the beautiful firework display that is performed by different countries.

This year all three participating countries have never performed at the celebration of lights. Vietnam will start off on July 28th followed by Brazil and then Italy. You can catch the fireworks from several locations but English bay always seems to attract the most crowds. Before the performances you can experience the culture of each performing country at Sunset Beach, which will be accompanied by music at Shorefest. Celebration of Lights has grown over the year and I think this year the pre-performance events will make it that much better.

2. Night Market

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The Night Market has always been a summer hit. As usual the Night Market opened in May and will run until September. This year though, the Richmond Night Market promises to be double the fun! With a new location added in addition to the old Night Market, there are many more vendors to see. The new market has less food and retail vendors but includes more entertainment, carnival rides and a “Dragon Zip line.” The two night markets have different things to offer, so I say check them out both and see which one you prefer!

1. Grouse Grind

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After all those celebrations, eating and drinking, if you feel the need to intensely exercise, the Grouse Grind is the place for you! The Grouse Grind is one of the best hikes in Vancouver. The best way to end your “staycation” in Vancouver is by doing something that most Vancouverites have done. The Grouse Grind is definitely a Vancouver experience! It embodies the great outdoors, athleticism and scenery of Vancouver. Hiking up the mountain is free but it costs $10 to go down the gondola. After you’ve hiked up “mother nature’s stairmaster” you will not want to go back down on foot!

Enjoy the fun, packed month of July! Here’s hoping for better weather! Also, along with the amazing events mentioned above you might also want to check out concerts that are happening in Vancouver this summer! Snoop dog, Frank Ocean, AVICII, Skrillex, and Beirut are all coming in July. This month is looking to be not so bad!

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