BC Day almost upon us...

and if you’ve neglected to do some advance planning, here are some fabulous, fun and free ways to celebrate all things British Columbia this weekend.

 

1. Go camping

CampingTourism BC/Don Weixl

BC Day always lands bang in the middle of the sultry summer season, providing the perfect opportunity to pack up the outdoor gear for a camping getaway to one of BC’s beautiful provincial parks. BC plays host to some of Canada’s most breathtaking outdoor scenery, so it’s easy to find a great place to camp, canoe or go for a hike.

 

2. Hit the beach

WindsurfingTourism BC/Dannielle Hayes

If camping in the wilderness lacks the amount of sun and sand you desire this BC Day, a trip to the beach could well be in order. In Vancouver, you would be hard-pressed to turn in any direction and not see a beach, so get the family together, have a cook-out, build a sandcastle, and spend the day immersing yourself in BC’s special blend of sun-soaked fun.

 

3. Party on Powell Street

Powell Streetwww.creativecommons.org/Michael Francis McCarthy

Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park will be bursting with the very best of Japanese-Canadian culture this BC Day Weekend. The Powell Street Festival celebrates everything from music and crafts to art performances and food. And the best part is that all of the daytime activities are free!

 

4. Be proud

Pride ParadeTourism BC/Dannielle Hayes

Taking place on the Sunday before BC Day, the Pride parade paints the West End of Vancouver with a rainbow of colours. More than half a million people pack into the West End to watch this annual parade march down Robson Street and along Denman and Davie streets every year.

 

5. Watch the fireworks

FireworksTourism BC/Dannielle Hayes

The HSBC Celebration of Light is the largest offshore fireworks competition in the world, attracting up to 400,000 spectators to Vancouver’s English Bay. The competition will come to a conclusion on Saturday evening with an awe-inspiring display from the Thailand team.

 

6. Make a splash

Are the kids complaining that they are bored and hot? They don't like all these cultural festivals you drag them to? Then spend the BC Day at one of Vancouver's many free water parks instead.  The biggest is the Granville Island Water Park, which includes water slides, pipes and sprays.

 

7. Join the brigade

Re-enactmentwww.creativecommons.org/Jug Jones

Fort Langley’s Brigade Days span the long weekend, hosting an encampment of historic re-enactors as they swap stories, play music and show off traditional skills like musket-firing and open fire cooking. A must for history buffs.

 

8. Throw an axe

Do you want to do something a little more Canadian this holiday weekend? Then head to the Squamish Days Festival to see some old fashioned logger sports like axe-throwing, tree climbing and hand bucking. The festival also hosts a parade and musical performances.

 

9. Burn Baby Burn

WhistlerTourism Whistler/Mike CraneBurgers, chili, brisket, chicken, ribs: sample the most mouth-watering barbecue at Whistler’s Canadian National BBQ Championships – held some 6,000 feet above the ground this BC Day.

 

10. See The Symphony

Victoriawww.creativecommons.org/Blake HandleyThe Sunday before British Columbia Day, the Victoria Symphony is hosting its annual concert upon a floating stage at the city’s Inner Harbor. This event includes musical entertainment, food stalls and a performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture – cannons and fireworks included.

 

More British Columbia on Canadian Traveller:

        

Come travelling with us!
Insider guides to everywhere, win trips to exotic locations, exclusive travel deals & discounts and more.