While some folks might find it too early to partake in Christmas festivities before December, Vancouver will be getting a double-dose of holiday cheer this weekend. Both the Vancouver Christmas Market and CandyTown Festival take place downtown on Saturday (November 22).
The Vancouver Christmas Market kicks off a month-long run at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza (650 Hamilton Street) starting Saturday at 11 a.m. The outdoor event, now in its fifth year, is modeled after a classic German Christmas market. Revellers can check out handmade gifts, such as wooden toys, knitted goods, pottery, and nutcrackers, while sipping on mulled wine and apple cider.
This year, food options not only reflect the festival’s German roots—schnitzel, pretzels, pork hocks, bratwurst, and strudels are all on the menu—but expand to include other European and North American snacks, like kettle corn, crepes, poutine, and even vegan salads.
Also popular at the family-friendly event are live performances and kids’ activities. Saturday’s musical lineup includes jazz artists Jonathan Muller and the Maria Ho, pop group Solantra, and local legend Dal Richards joined by his orchestra. The market also features a classic carousel for riders two years of age and up.
The Vancouver Christmas Market is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. from November 22 to December 23 and on December 24 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $3 to $7 and can be purchased online in advance.
Also taking place on Saturday (November 22) is the third annual CandyTown Festival in Yaletown. This free, one-day event is hosted by the Yaletown BIA and open from 12 to 7 p.m.
The outdoor festival takes place along Mainland Street (between Davie and Nelson streets), which is closed for pedestrian traffic only. The neighbourhood is transformed into a winter wonderland, with holiday lights strung across buildings, decorative candy canes adorning lamp posts, and costumed characters, including Santa Clause, roaming the streets.
The family-friendly event features ice sculptures, craft stations, live entertainment, and horse-drawn carriage rides by donation. Attendees will also have a chance to jump-start their holiday shopping, with artisans and many of the local shops, such as Fine Finds and Vancouver Candle Company, selling gifts outdoors. The Yaletown Rotary Club will also sell Christmas trees and wreaths.
Food options include treats from Damien’s Belgian Waffles, Half Baked Cookie Co., Mancakes Bakery, and Maples Sugar Shack. All restaurants and shops in the area will be open for business as usual.