Ho! Ho! Ho! The Holidays are here and Santa is on his way!
Santa will be riding into town this weekend, for the 15th Annual Vancouver Santa Claus Parade, December 2, 2018.
Hundreds of thousands are expected to fill downtown Vancouver to view the parade, volunteer and participate in the parade in bands, choirs, floats and community organizations. Before the parade, fuel up your troupe with Breakfast with Santa at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver from 9:30am – 10:30am. Then at Noon, the parade route begins at West Georgia at Broughton Street, runs east on West Georgia to Howe Street then comes to an end at Howe at Davie Street. The route passes Christmas Square at šx????n?q Xwtl’e7én? Square at Vancouver Art Gallery, which features fun for kids, young and old face painting, kids crafts, ‘letters to Santa’ writing stations, entertainment and more.
As well, Vancouver Santa Claus Parade charity partners the CKNW Kids’ Fund and the Greater Vancouver Food Bank will also be onsite at the Square collecting donations. If you forget to bring your donation to the parade, stop by a TELUS corporate store until December 9th, for every food bank item donated to the collection boxes in the stores, TELUS will donate an additional $5.00 to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. After the parade, head to Telus Garden Laneway between Robson and West Georgia St, for more entertainment, festive fun and get a family photo with Santa.
With the big crowds it is best to plan ahead, arrive early, take transit to avoid the road closures. Viewing is most congested around the Georgia Steet & Howe Street intersection, good options are to watch near the start or finish of the route. An accessible viewing area set up in on the East side of Howe Street, just south of Georgia Street. If you can’t make it to downtown Vancouver to watch the parade in person, tune into Global BC and BC1 to watch the Vancouver Santa Claus Parade telecast starting a week after the parade.
In Vancouver Public Library there’s a new shop that has put a fresh look on the tea shop. LOOK Organic Tea is a bright, modern take on a classic tea shop. The pristine white walls are lined with dozens of cannisters of teas and blends mixed right here in Vancouver. Stepping in the door the fragrance of Chai, offered for sampling, warms the air. Bright and colourful teaware burst from the wall, leading you into the back of the shop where more samples await. On the day I stopped in, the scents of the LOOK Wellbeing Collection was steeped for a taste. Behind the counter Udi and Yolanda are knowledgeable and helpful with selecting from the collection of black teas, herbal, fruit teas and blends. Stop in and take home your own loose teas or a 16oz cup of tea brewed in-house is around $3, depending on blend.
LOOK Organic Tea is located at Unit 206 – 345 Robson Street – Vancouver Public Library Square, next to Blenz. Find them online facebook.com/lookorganictea
On Donner! On Blitzen! It’s time for the man in the big red suit to come riding into town as the annual Rogers Santa Claus Parade fills downtown Vancouver with festive fun on Sunday December 1st. Starting at 1pm, the parade route begins at West Georgia at Broughton Street, runs east on West Georgia to Howe Street then ends at Howe at Davie Street. More than 3500 participants are expected to walk the parade in 65+ bands, choirs, floats and community organizations. Volunteers will be on hand throughout the day, to collect donations for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. Before and after the parade, there is plenty of holiday cheer to be had at the Coast Capital Saving Christmas Square, in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Beginning before the parade at 1030am, the Square features lots of family fun; face painting, gingerbread man and christmas ornament decorating, ‘letters to Santa’ writing stations and entertainment on the Main Stage. After the parade, head to the Skating Rink at Robson Square to get a picture with Santa. It’s estimated 300,000 people will line the parade route, so it’s best to plan ahead, take transit and arrive early.
Yee haw! It’s country Sunday in Vancouver! Grab your hat & boots!
You heard that right…there’s a ho-down at The Junction Pub this Sunday night. Country Squared Jamboree is a free event featuring two dance groups Squares Across The Border and Timberline who will be dancing, teaching how to dance, and encouraging folks to join in the fun!
Meanwhile across down it’s another edition of Big Gay Rodeo. For a Bull Ridin’, Meat Draws, Drag Shows, Bobbing for Apples, Beer Swilling good time head on down to The Bourbon Country Bar
Partial proceeds benefit local charities including Friends For Life, HIM (Health Initiative for Men) QMUNITY, and Keep a Breast Canada
The inaugural edition of Live At Squamish (LAS) occurred over the Labour Day Long Weekend. This new multi-stage music and arts festival took over the Logger Sports Grounds and Hendrickson Fields in Squamish, BC for two days of good times.
My British friend Jim, who is a veteran of music festivals back home in England, and I both thought it was a really well organized, well run event. (Could have used a couple more signs on the highway guiding vehicle traffic to the site but that’s easily fixed next year). I’ve been to a few festivals both in England and Canada and found LAS to be better than most.
Even though the ticket sales weren’t as high as I’m sure organizers, brandLIVE would have liked, I really admire their strategy of having a 5 year plan to make LAS a success. It shows they are in it for the long haul and are determined to do it ‘right’. This year’s music line-up was a fairly low key mix of local and foreign acts like: Said The Whale, Jon & Roy, Seb Fontaine, Matthew Good, Dirty Vegas, Mother Mother, Bad Religion, Devo, The Decemberists. Although a ‘bigger’ name would have sold more tickets I think they were wise to keep it simple. This allowed them to work any kinks out without being overwhelmed by massive crowds. The whole vibe of this event was very chill and relaxed. The venue itself was beautiful, the main stage had The Stawamus Chief as the backdrop, the smaller stages were set amongst the trees. There was lots of room between the stages too which meant there was very little overlap of sound, an issue with some other festival sites. The sound at all the stages was excellent, the clubZone dance stage has a great light show as well from Tony Pantages. The layout of the whole site was very well done too. The vendors were set up around the edges of the field so no matter where you were you could still see/hear the main stage or they were in the transition areas between the stages to you passed them on the way between. There was a great mix of artisans, corporate (Asus, Telus etc) and food vendors throughout the site. Each stage also had a beer garden along side, so it didn’t look like anyone was waiting very long if they chose to have an adult beverage. Plenty of washrooms were located in a couple of areas and there was a set of sinks set up so people could fill up on clean tap water for drinking. The organizers encouraging people to bring their own containers to drink from eventhough there was beverages sold by the food vendors. I say kudos to brandLIVE for encouraging the use of tap water and reusable containers! I cannot say enough good things about the organization of the whole event.
I’m looking forward to having plans on my Labour Day weekends for at least the next few years! See you there!