WHAT: Car-Free Vancouver Day
WHEN: Sunday June 20 (Father’s Day), noon to whenever
WHERE: Kitsilano, Commercial Drive, West End, Main Street and now, NORTH VAN!
WHY: To reclaim our streets for people
Car-Free Vancouver Day is a grassroots, citizen-led, 100% volunteer-organized civic celebration. Launched in 2005 with the Car-Free Commercial Drive Festival, it has grown to include FIVE large festival nodes. Each of the five community-initiated fests has a distinct neighbourhood flavour.
Kitsilano boasts a tapestry of over 25 block parties all day with street “living rooms”, dances, performers and potlucks.
Funky Main Street (between 16th and 33rd, noon to 8) features skateboard demos, Terminal City Roller Derby, Vancouver Peoples’ Summit, and multimedia performances.
The West End (Denman Street, noon to 6) goes unplugged with Spoken Word tent, SHAG seniors’ tent, Square Dancing lessons, Capoeria, and Chamber Music.
Bohemian Commercial Drive (Venables to First Ave, noon to 6) rocks from noon to six, with street hockey, Drum Jam, Healing Garden, Tribal Harmonix Dance Stage, tons of babies and dogs, and merry mayhem abundant.
And new this year, North Vancouver will be going Car-Free from 3rd to Esplanade St on Lonsdale Ave, noon to 6pm. North Van is going car-free with a Beach theme, featuring merriment with a distinctly coastal vibe.
“Less cars means more community.” says CFVD Co-founder Matt Hern. “This is a day to visualize what an ethical and ecological city might look like. To give people a chance to reclaim their streets, hang out with their neighbours, and enjoy a great car-free day. Cities all over the world are embracing car-free streets, far beyond what we have here. Mayor Robertson just committed $25 million toward bicycle infrastructure in Vancouver, and that’s a great start to reclaiming our streets. Car Free Day is a way to celebrate the future of our city.”
Organizers strongly recommend that participants bike, walk, skate, or take transit from Fest to Fest — but DON’T DRIVE! Parking is guaranteed to be nasty. TransLink will have extra buses in service, and there will be plenty of treats, surprises, and friendly faces on the bike routes between the Fests. Most Fests feature Bike Valet Parking.
And of course, it’s all FREE: Free of charge. Free of boring corporate stuff. Free of cars.