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Summer in Vancouver is characterized with warm, sunny days with blue clear skies. Uninterrupted views of the North Shore mountains and lots and lots of outdoor festivals. Many head to beach to soak up the rays and splash in the cool waters. Others hide out in the mountains, hiking the trails and enjoying nature. However, it is these three activities in the summer that are standouts for me and they are the essences of summer in Vancouver.
Celebration of Lights
For as long as I can remember, I had always looked forward to the Celebration of Lights. Performances of fireworks spread over two weeks, bringing together teams from around the world to compete. I went every year, ready to be wowed by the spectacular sight.
Crowds pack themselves on to English Bay Beach and Kitsilano Beach. The smart ones, watch from a boat in the bay, which I was lucky enough to do one year. When the sun sets, the skies come alive. The whole production is set to music so bringing a radio is a must.
In recent years, between my travels and my growing aversion to large (drunken) crowds I haven’t gone to watch the fiery displays. Perhaps this is the year I venture back down and experience this night time spectacular.
Bard on the Beach
A long time ago, I was dating a guy who really enjoyed the works of Shakespeare. I wasn’t as enamoured with the Bard, but went along with his interest. Summertime meant going down to Vanier park and taking in a production or two at Bard on the Beach.
Picture a fascinating tale of love, drama and sometimes sorrow, set against the backdrop that is beautiful Vancouver. As the sun drops, the atmosphere increases and under the red and white striped tents in Vanier Park, the Bard’s works come to life.
This year, Bard on the Beach is celebrating its 25th year. They’re #3 on the list of things to do in Vancouver on TripAdvisor and were recently named one of the top 10 Shakespearean festivals for travellers by Lonely Planet. I had the pleasure of watching A Midsummer Night’s Dream last night and it was incredible (full post coming soon!). It is a must do if you’re in Vancouver during the summer months.
Richmond Night Market
Night markets are a dime a dozen in most Asian cities and they’re starting to pop up more and more in Vancouver as well. There are a few around, but my favourite one and the one I go to most often is the Richmond Night Market. You go for the delicious food stalls, but you leave with cute socks and stationery from Korea and random knick knacks that you didn’t know you wanted nor needed.
The crowds are massive and often the lines long, but once you start browsing the food stalls and trying to decide what you want to eat, it all melts away. The great thing about the night market is that you can mostly see what you’re about to eat. If you’re curious about a particular dish, this is the place to try it. Be warned, it get’s very tightly packed and cash only.
How do you know it’s summer in your city? What is an iconic activity to do during the warm months?
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