Wednesday, June 18, 2014

No Cars Allowed

Ten years ago, a movement started on Commercial Drive and has spread to other neighbourhoods in the city. That would be 'Car Free Days'.

On June 15, 15 blocks from Venables to Grandview were blocked off from traffic. Instead, the streets were lined with rag tag bands, musicians, roller derby, lots of food stands and almost anything else you could think of. Even the rain - and it did rain - couldn't keep the people away.

This festival is run by volunteers and I am certain they are setting up for 2015 Car Free Days as I write this. This festival is a chance for the people to reclaim the streets of the community. It is an opportunity for businesses to interact with the people in a way they don't usually. More importantly, it is fun.

While I was walking the 15 blocks this year, I saw petitions and booths for non-profit organizations. I talked to the woman with Wholly Noggin Bars (they look interesting and taste pretty good) and I talked to a couple of people from the Vancouver Coop Radio. Of course, I made a special stop at the Grandview Heritage Group booth and spoke with Jak King. No wonder it took me over two hours to walk those blocks and back! Of course, I did stop and buy some vegetables at Donald's Market as well.
I enjoy walking through festivals like this because of the things I see. These headpieces are gorgeous! In the next set of photos, I will show you one of a model wearing one.

One year, I was strolling along the street for Car Free Days when I saw the actor Mark Hamill. I didn't recognize him at first, I only noticed him because he was asking someone not to take his photo - I think he had children with him. This year I saw a giant frog but I couldn't get a clear photo of him. Or her.

I realize this isn't the usual sort of entry I post on the Vancouver Vagabond but I hope you enjoyed it. History is great, I have always loved learning about the past, but we have to remember to live in the present too. And have some fun sometimes! Events like this don't cost anything - I never bring money with me since it would be gone so fast - but it gives people a chance to get out of their homes and mingle. Maybe even experience something new?

I hope you find the beauty around you.


  1. I love to attend these kinds of festivals. I get such great ideas. Thanks Karen for sharing one of your fund days. History is fun but like to hear about some of the fun things you do their in Vancouver.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it and agree with me Lana.