Date moved to Sunday, April 14: Please note that because of expected rain on Saturday, the picnic has been moved to Sunday, same time, same place. We prefer to celebrate in the sun!
Join us at The Big Picnic on Sunday. Inspired by the long-time Japanese cultural tradition of ohanami* which literally translates to “cherry blossom (hana) viewing (mi)”, we want to share this experience with everyone under Queen Elizabeth Park’s iconic cherry blossom canopy.
Every year, more than 3,000 people from all over come together to share in the beauty of the blossoms and experience why “there are no strangers under the cherry tree”. Don’t miss perhaps Canada’s largest picnic, with free family-friendly entertainment and activities from 12 – 3 on Sunday, April 14. Five of metro Vancouver’s best food trucks will also be on-site in case you’d like to try something different to eat & drink.
How to BIG PICNIC in 8 Steps**
1. Make a picnic for you and your friends. Share your recipe online if especially tasty and tag #bigpicnic. Or arrive a bit earlier as the on-site food trucks will be open from 11:30.
2. If you want to, please dress in festive attire. Clothing in shades of the blossoms is sure to get lots of picture requests and you’ll meet lots of new people.
3. Bring your picnic mat or blanket for spreading on the ground, just big enough for your party and maybe some new friends. (You can also buy one of the Festival’s Petal Mats if you prefer.) Bring a wrap or jacket or sweater in case it is cooler under the shade.
4. Come by public transit to Queen Elizabeth Park, entering off 33rd Ave. See below for details, info on bringing someone with mobility issues.
5. Choose an empty spot near or under the cherry blossoms to spread out your blanket. We’ll have some covered tables in case you’d like to share space and stand. Get ready to party!
6. Enjoy yourself, greet everyone, make new friends, move to the music (or get up and dance if that’s your thing) and take lots of pictures and videos. Please tag #vancherryblossomfest and #bigpicnic so we can share with the world.
7. Visit the booths set up by some of our vendors and pop by the Cherry Blossom Festival tent to say hi. You can also purchase one of our $25 raffle tickets with a 1 in 500 chance of winning 2 Air Canada return tickets anywhere they fly!
8. Pack up everything so others can also enjoy the park afterwards, say good-bye to all your new friends, and make plans to meet them at the next Festival event!
**Please note: – There is no cooking permitted on site. Leave your tables at home, except in special cases with permission, for people with mobility issues. (You will be directed where to place the chairs so as to not block views.) – Drop off near entrance possible for people with limited mobility issues, but no parking available at the picnic. See below for available parking lots.
Lots to do for the whole family! Don’t miss out on the Geo-Caching Blossom Challenge organized by the Red Fox Healthy Living Society, the Harmony in Action Flag Workshop, Active Play, “Life-Size” Board Games, Face Painting, and more.
If you just want to hang out and enjoy your picnic, we’ve also got a line up of great entertainment! Ranging from Canada’s first kids taiko drum troupe Chibi Taiko to Afro-Latin soul beats of South American cumbia music with MNGWA (newly added to our line up!), you’ll can relax, be inspired, and enjoy the blossoms.
Performance Schedule on the Blossom Stage (Subject to change)
12:40 Chinese Fan Dance by Jessica Yue
1:35 Guzheng by Laura Wu
2:40 Chibi Taiko
The closest Canada Line Skytrain Stations are King Edward and Oakridge 41st, about 5 blocks away.
Bus 15 stops on Cambie just outside the park.
Bus 33 stops on Midlothian just on the other side of the park.
The Festival will be closing off the parking lot closest to the venue for event vendors. Please be considerate of the park’s neighbours and don’t block their parking spaces. There are two paid parking lots:
- At the top of the park, near the conservatory, access off Midlothian Ave.
- Near the tennis courts, access off W 37th Ave.
Programs subject to change. This event is weather dependent. In the case of rain, the Big Picnic will be postponed until Saturday, April 20 or cancelled. Stay tuned to the website for the latest updates.
All event titles are protected trademarks of the Festival