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Vancouver's massive free street fest celebrating all things Italian returns in June

Time for a huge celebration in Little Italy
One of Vancouver's biggest cultural celebrations will take over 14 blocks of Commercial Drive as Italian Day invites all to join in the fun this June

Are you ready for a festa, Vancouver?

One of the city's most cherished annual events returns, as East Vancouver's storied Little Italy turns into an all-day street party filled with food, culture, and fun for another stellar celebration. 

Italian Day hits Commercial Drive - recently named one of the coolest streets in the world - on Sunday, June 9. 

Vancouver's biggest cultural street festival is expected to garner hundreds of thousands of attendees who will fill 14 blocks as part of the lively event.

Each year, the popular fest selects a theme, and for 2024 it is "Storia" which means "history" or "story" in Italian. 

"The significance of this year’s theme is that history creates memories, generating emotional connections with the ability to transcend generations via storytelling, keeping traditions and important values alive, while bridging the past with the present," organizers explain. "We are drawn to history because its story is our story, where too we can learn from the past to create a better future."

Live music will play throughout the day, and there will be several patio areas to relax in during the celebration. From donuts to cannoli, pasta to pizza, visitors can sample seemingly endless foods as they make their way down the Drive, which will be closed to traffic.

The festival honours the history of Italian immigrants in Vancouver. In the 1940s and 1950s, Commercial Drive transformed into an Italian enclave, and several cultural celebrations and street parades have long been a community tradition. 

After pausing during the pandemic years, Italian Day kicked up its heels for a mini version in 2022 before returning to all its full-scale red, white, and green glory in 2023

Italian Day 

When: Sunday, June 9, 2024 from noon to 8 p.m.

Where: Commerical Drive from Venables to Grandview Highway

Cost: Free to attend

With files from Elana Shepert