There's always plenty to do across this scenic province, and summer is especially jam-packed for B.C. residents. From food fairs to cultural events and music festivals to historical celebrations, there's plenty going on to occupy those warm summer days. Here are just a few of the happenings proving why B.C.'s official motto is "Splendour without Diminishment."
Playland at the PNE (May 16-September 20)
What better way to make use of all the season's extra sunshine than by playing outdoors? Vancouver's annual Playland at the Pacific National Exhibition features 30 exhilarating amusement park rides, including a Ferris wheel, roller coasters, a flume ride and much more. For the 10-and-under crowd, there's also Kids Playce, which features various kid-friendly rides and several picnic areas for the whole family. No stomach for the rides? Playland offers plenty of games, food options and other attractions.
Parksville Lion's International Kite Festival (July 18-19)
This summer, go fly a kite! This annual festival, taking place at Parksville Beach on Vancouver Island, is a two-day celebration for kite enthusiasts both young and old. There will be flying demonstrations (at least seven hours per day), kite-building lessons and the widely popular teddy bear drop. Or, put the kite down for a bit and enjoy the row of crafters, the international sand sculpting event and an array of tasty concession treats.
"There's always plenty to do across the great, wide province."
Victoria Dragon Boat Festival (August 14-16)
This August, dragons invade Victoria Harbor! A tradition born thousands of years ago in Asia, dragon boat races are known for both a sense of showmanship and intense competition. This year, 90 teams will take part in the race, which is expected to draw some 80,000 guests. Outside the race, celebrate Asian culture with a wide variety of entertainment options, including rows of concessions, kid-friendly activities and the Lights of Courage parade, which benefits the BC Cancer Foundation.
7th Annual Garlic Festival (August 23)
Garlic lovers, assemble! Taking place at the scenic Terra Nova Rural Park in Richmond, B.C., the festival features a number of garlic-centric activities, including live cooking demonstrations, competitive events for chefs of all skill levels, workshops for amateur farmers and gardeners and live entertainment. Several high-end eateries, including Longtail Kitchen and Fable Restaurant, will also be on hand to serve up goodies, including garlic ice cream! Just don't forget to bring breath mints.
Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival (August 27-September 6)
Commemorating its 33rd anniversary in 2015, the Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival is a celebration of the city's rich local theater scene. Over the span of 10 days, the festival will play home to over 50 productions and 300-plus total performances. There will be comedy, spoken word, magic, dance, drama and physical theater. Even kids can catch the theater bug with FringeKids Fest, which features puppets and strolling performers. Then, close out the final day with the Pick of the Fringe Awards banquet, where the festival's biggest plays get their chance to shine.