Vancouver Halloween Parade 2016

Vancouver's New Halloween Parade & Halloween Expo

Vancouver Halloween Parade
••• Vancouver Halloween Parade. Photo by The Will Box / Vancouver Halloween Parade & Expo

Halloween is a huge holiday in Vancouver; we fill October with a month of Halloween attractions and events. Vancouverites also love parades. In 2014, the city finally brought the two together with the inaugural Vancouver Halloween Parade!

The Vancouver Halloween Parade happens Sunday, October 16, 2016, starting at 11am.

Getting to the Vancouver Halloween Parade / Vancouver Halloween Parade Route

The Vancouver Halloween Parade takes place in downtown Vancouver. The route starts at Drake St. and Howe St., marches north on Howe St., turns east on Smithe, then marches south along Granville St. back to Drake. Large crowds are expected (there were 100,000 spectators in 2014), so take public transit (use the Canada Line Granville Station for easiest access).

What to Expect at the Vancouver Halloween Parade

In contrast to the erstwhile Parade of Lost Souls (see below), the Vancouver Halloween Parade  takes place during the day--so even very young kids can attend--and is dedicated to being "family-friendly" (which means less scary costumes / no gore). Organized by the Vancouver International Halloween Festival Society, the Vancouver Halloween Parade features cosplayers and folks dressed as characters from film, comics, and video games--as opposed to bloody zombies or ghouls--in an effort to be as kid-friendly as possible.

It's also connected to the Halloween Expo, taking place October 13 - 14 at Tom Lee Music Hall (929 Granville St.) and October 15 - 16 at Robson Square (800 Robson St.), both in Downtown Vancouver.

The 2016 Vancouver Halloween Parade will feature marching bands, horses, and floats, plus cosplayers from every type of media, making it the "world's largest cosplay stage." Featured parade participants include a 16-foot "ghost train," a 10-foot tall Giant Pumpkin Reaper (the Santa Claus of the parade), the Ghostbusters of British Columbia, the Star Wars 501st Legion (marching stormtroopers!), and lots of cosplayers. More traditional parade participants will be there too, including the British Columbia Regimental Band, Korean Traditional Dance Society, and West Coast Thunder Drill Team.

The Vancouver Halloween Parade is free to attend (of course), and will go on rain or shine. 

Official Site for the Vancouver Halloween Parade: Vancouver Halloween Parade & Expo 2016

What about the Parade of Lost Souls?

Vancouver used to have a famous Halloween parade: the Parade of Lost Souls, created by Public Dreams and taking place around Commercial Drive. Starting in 2014, The Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret now organizes a miniature Parade of Lost Souls on October 29. Unlike the Vancouver Halloween Parade, this event is for adults only (19+).