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!

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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.

See you on Sunday! Read below for more details:

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.


Ongoing Activities

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.

Red Fox Cherry Blossom Challenge

Entertainment

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)

12:05   MNGWA

12:40   Chinese Fan Dance by Jessica Yue

1:35     Guzheng by Laura Wu

2:00    MNGWA

2:40    Chibi Taiko

2019 Artist Bios
MNGWA

Rooted in the Afro-Latin soul of South American cumbia music, MNGWA [pronounced Ming-wah] blends elements of salsa, psych rock, reggae, and hip hop into the polyrhythmic pot. With a cast of musicians from across North America and Europe, the 8-piece Vancouver ensemble draws inspiration from across the globe. Every song is a new journey, weaving lyrics in Spanish, English, French and Russian into a wildly danceable mix.

North Shore Celtic Ensemble

The North Shore Celtic Ensemble is a dynamic community of young musicians from North Vancouver, Canada. The Ensemble brings raw energy and a whole new style to the Vancouver music scene. What started as Celtic is now a spirited no-boundaries exploration of music that inspires us. The result is a full-spectrum music experience that defies labels and spans conventional genres. Our own original compositions draw on Celtic, classical, jazz and folk influences and are blended with creative arrangements of more traditional Celtic tunes. Seven CDs celebrate our music and its west coast roots.

Chinese Fan Dance

Jessica Yue joined the City Contemporary Dance Company and Hong Kong Traditional Chinese Dancing as a full-time dancer after graduating from Hong Kong Baptist University. In 1994, she pursued further studies in China. The works she has choreographed for the China Traditional Chinese Dancing, including Martyr For Soul and Kami Ni To U, received critical acclaim. She has been a part-time instructor of the other Community Centre and any other Elementary School in Vancouver, BC.,  since 1997.

Chibi Taiko

The first children’s taiko ensemble in Canada, Chibi Taiko was formed in the fall of 1993 with the goal of passing this unique and dynamic performing art on to the next generation of Asian Canadians. The group’s philosophy emphasizes cooperation, leadership, responsibility and spirituality in addition to the physical and musical discipline needed to build a cohesive and dynamic taiko ensemble.

Laura Yu Wu
Guzheng (Chinese harp) & vocals

Graduated from the Music School of Shanghai Philharmonic. Participated in many performances with Shanghai Philharmonic directed by famous conductors Tuhan Si and Yufeng Zheng in China.  Since arriving in Canada in 1990, Laura has also performed many shows with guzheng and vocals for various occasions. 
*Hanami dates back to more than a thousand years ago when Japanese aristocrats sat under the flowering cherry trees and wrote poems inspired by the blossoms. Nowadays in Japan, friends and families gather under the cherry blossoms in the local parks eating homemade food or convenience store bento boxes, singing songs and partaking in simple, fun activities such as photography and haiku writing.

TravelSmart:

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.

Parking:

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:

  1. At the top of the park, near the conservatory, access off Midlothian Ave.
  2. 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