When an organizer of the annual Symphony of Fire fireworks exhibition coined Vancouver ‘No Fun City’ back in 2000, it was a momentary quip with long lasting effects.
The nickname owes largely to strict, archaic liquor licensing laws that prohibited unique pop-up events and restricted commonplace activities like having a beer on a patio past 11p.m.
But, as chill and laid-back as we are, Vancouverites didn’t take the critique lying down. And now as 2016 comes to a close, the city is pulling out all the holiday stops to draw visitors and locals alike to get out and have some fun.
Enchant, the Christmas light maze, a new and improved Vancouver Christmas Market and Bloedel Conservatory’s Holiday Heights are all affordable outings, fun for a crew of friends, a romantic date or a family affair.
I wasn’t here in 2000 when Vancouver was declared a void of good times, but in the decade since, I’ve made this city my home. I’ve watched as summer festivals have grown, food trucks revolutionized the farmer’s market experience and the craft beer boom ushered in more excuses for live music, or to hop on your bike.
It’s no secret that Vancouver is one of the most expensive places to live in Canada, and having fun here is often associated with heaving a Santa-sized dent into your wallet. But, no matter your budget there’s a lot to get out and see to get into the holiday spirit – something we could all use a little of as we prepare to say farewell to a tumultuous 2016.
So, who says we don’t know how to have fun?