10 Ways to Celebrate Summer at the
2019 Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival
New this year: Enhanced & diverse entertainment lineup
featuring BC’s best musicians and a Chinese Cultural Pavilion
The annual Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival, Vancouver’s largest and longest running outdoor summer festival is back and bigger than ever in its 31st year. From June 21st to June 23rd, kick start your summer with entertainment and activities for all ages at Concord Pacific Place, Creekside Park and the shores of False Creek. Each year an estimated 125,000 spectators line waterfront vantage points to take in the most competitive dragon boat racing in North America with over 6,000 racers.
A celebration of community, culture and competition, the 2019 Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival takes place over three days: All Access Friday, International Saturday and Championship Sunday.
Here are 10 top reasons to usher in summer at the 2019 Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival:
1. 102.7 THE PEAK Main Stage presented by Creative BC
This year’s festival features an extensive and revamped entertainment program spread throughout the entire weekend. 102.7 THE PEAK Main Stage presented by Creative BC brings free live music concerts from headliners k-os, Yukon Blonde and Jill Barber. Visitors will enjoy an “East meets West” music program with a heavy B.C. musician presence for a truly unique Vancouver experience. Local musicians and multicultural entertainers will showcase the city’s diverse social fabric. From soulful R&B performers to traditional flamenco, indie rock, hip hop, jazz and dancehall – there is something for every taste.
2. Concord Community Stage presented by Creative BC
Run away with the circus! The Concord Community Stage features circus workshops and family-friendly features such as giant chess sets, street hockey rinks, chalk drawing, face painting, colouring and a vinyl arts and crafts project. The stage is strategically set up to have prime view of the races and will also have live music performances throughout the festival.
3. China Culture and Tourism Pavilion
New this year is the China National Tourist Office’s Cultural Pavilion where visitors can stroll around the pavilion on site to learn about dragon boat craftsmanship. People of all ages will enjoy the photography exhibitions, artisan and handicraft stations, and can even take photos with their panda mascot.
4. Teak boat display
Sparked by the gift of 6 teak boats gifted from Hong Kong to Vancouver during Expo 86, the Dragon Boat Festival has grown to become the largest dragon boat festival outside of Hong Kong. One of the restored original teak boats used 31 years ago will be on display along with dragon boats built as part of an innovative local job skills training program run by Dragon Boat BC for underemployed individuals.
5. All Access Friday June 21st, 2019, 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The festival weekend kicks off with All Access Friday, a charity and community-focused day. Discover family friendly entertainment, arts and crafts for all ages and cultural performances in a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment. Highlights of All Access Friday include the All Access Cup, a dragon boat race to fundraise for a number of different charities and the colourful Eye Dotting and Dragon Boat Blessing Ceremony performed by priests and members of the congregation of the Evergreen Taoist Church. There will also be free musical performances by soulful R&B artist Buckman Coe and singer-songwriter Jill Barber.
6. International Saturday June 22nd, 2019, 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Discover international cultures through the diverse range of local artists at Vancouver’s largest cultural and sporting festival, and watch as teams visiting from around the world (and across Canada) come together and celebrate the unity and friendship behind dragon boat racing. Watch Canada face off against the world in the Concord Pacific Champions Race Series featuring the International Cup. You won’t want to miss a second of the free live music concerts on Saturday – from emerging local talent to established headliners, International Saturday features B.C.’s best new indie bands, fusion acts and more. Cultural entertainment starts at 10am and goes until the end of the day. International Saturday kicks off with Vancouver Island “swoon rock” artist Alexandria Maillot, followed by the indie duo Tourist Company. The beats will continue with Schwey’s soulful sounds and Little Destroyer’s energetic beats. Saturday’s lineup concludes with hip hop beats from k-os and indie rockers Yukon Blonde.
7. Championship Sunday June 23rd, 2019, 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Watch the festival come to a thrilling close as 200+ teams compete in over 25 medal events and finals. Cheer on the teams as they participate in the Divisional Finals and Grand Final Races beginning at noon. These races showcase the pinnacle of the sport and will keep you on the edge of your seat. Not to be missed is the Concord Pacific Premier Mixed Guts and Glory Grand Final, one of the world’s biggest 2,000M races that will close down the racing program. Enjoy the free live music concerts and entertainment featuring a diverse range of cultural performances and local artists such as Beat Spirit, Stephanie Pedraza, Silk Road Music, Los Duendes, Coco Jafro, Salsahall Collective and Mai Tai Friday.
Celebrate with paddlers and visitors from across the world at the Festival Wrapup Party on the Red Truck Patio.
8. Free, family-friendly entertainment
Enjoy family friendly performances across the entire festival site that will amaze and entertain visitors of all ages! The festival has always been intended to foster intercultural dialogue. Attendees are invited to interact with roaming lions and dragon dance demonstrations, roaming musicians, pop up bands, acrobats and stunt performers.
9. BC’s Biggest Outdoor Patio
Measuring almost seven acres (three hectares), the Red Truck Patio is Vancouver’s largest licensed patio, offering front row seats to False Creek racing action and live concerts on the Main Stage. The all-ages venue will serve Red Truck’s award-winning brews as well as cider, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages.
Enjoy the freshest beer in town and try some of Red Truck’s local craft brews, made just minutes away from the festival site at Red Truck’s Pit Stop. There will also be beverages served up by Hard Pop Shoppe and Swear Jar.
10. Local food and drinks
Stroll on Creekside Park while enjoying a bubble tea from Chatime’s on-site pop up café to beat Vancouver’s heat! There will be over 100 local booths and food trucks offering local flavours inspired by international cuisine and traditions.
All attractions and entertainment on-site are free. For a complete schedule of races, concerts, and entertainment at the 2019 Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival, visit https://concorddragonboatfestival.ca/info/