Tag Archives: festival

Powell Street Festival 2013

Every year, Vancouver celebrates the Japanese culture with the Powell St. Festival where one can enjoy performances, food and traditions. It’s apparently the largest Japanese Canadian festival in Canada and the longest running community celebration in Vancouver.

It usually runs on the last weekend of July, around the same time as the Celebration of Lights.

Ever since I started volunteering at the festival in 2006, not much has changed. It’s still at the Oppenheimer Park, a location which I wished they would change. There has been many talks to do so, but so far, it has never been relocated since I’ve been there. Unfortunately, the festival is disturbed by homeless people, and every year, we get some that harass us at the food booth. There hasn’t been any physical violence – thank God. But there has been some verbal abuse. It’s a bit of a concern, especially taking young kids where some of them are bothersome.

But onto the good stuff. The festival has expanded a bit with more booths and a second small stage that usually showcases urban dance, street performances, and taiko. I haven’t seen a dramatic increase in prices over the years, but it can be pricey. But just keep in mind that all the proceeds will go for a good cause. It keeps the community active with events and brings people together.


The Japanese Meetup Group from Meetup.com was there too! :D


To start off, we had the $10 combo that came with grilled salmon, genmai (brown rice), spam sushi and a can of soda. The salmon was nicely grilled and salted. I liked that it came with healthy genmai…I didn’t try the spam sushi…it looked odd, and not really appetizing, though I’ve heard that it’s pretty good…my friend who ate the spam sushi told me that spam is no longer being produced anymore. Not sure if that’s true?


$10 combo



Ice shaving $5

Every year, it’s been pretty good weather. We’ve sometimes had days where it’s a bit chilly or drizzle, but never pouring rain…as much as I can remember. With another hot day, and the sun blazing down on us, we sat in the shady area of the grass. I got myself a $5 shaved ice with fruit punch syrup and strawberry ice cream.

Don’t miss the Omikoshi, the sumo wrestling where spectators can compete, some modern electronic bands, taiko drumming, martial arts demonstrations, and lots more.

There are also many booths that sells Japanese crafts and artifacts. Tents like Tonarigumi has items that were donated, and are on sale. Other booths are run by local artists, many in which portions of their sales goes to the communities that are involved in the festival. Very cool!

Entertaining:      Cost for Food:

Atmosphere:      Location:


International Summer Night Market

International Summer Night Market 國際夏日夜市 on UrbanspoonAfter going to the Richmond Night Market, we decided to go to the Summer Night Market for a change. Admission is free, and finding parking is a lot easier than the other market.
Despite the free admission, there is less crowds than the other one. It could be because there are less booths, but most of the booths – at least what they offer seem to be similar.

There is a small stage where for the entire evening, there was live performance from belly dancing and hip hop singers. We lined up at one of the booth to get the taiyaki and the famous hurricane potato. I’d always wanted to try out the hurricane so it was about time.

There are several filling options for the taiyaki $1. Nutella, red bean or Bavarian cream. I wanted the red bean, but my friend wanted the Bavarian, so we got that. It was super hot, and I ended up burning my tongue T_T. My friend squeezed and cream shot out burning him a lot more. He complained to the people that there should be some warning – either by telling us, or a sign.idearabbit_international_summer_night_market1

idearabbit_international_summer_night_market3idearabbit_international_summer_night_market2Hurricane Potato $4

There were also different flavours available for the hurricane $4. We got the BBQ. Looked greasy although it wasn’t extremely terrible but it was EXTREMELY salty. My friend brushed off the BBQ powder that they had rolled the potato as much as he could. We  forced ourselves to eat it, but only could do half. The saltiness was nauseating. We ended up throwing away the rest. Should have gotten plain!

There’s a Pepsi stand to see whether you like coke or Pepsi. We were both coke drinkers, and ended up choosing (blindly) liking coke. Pepsi had a chemical after taste. Anyways, there’s no right or wrong answer. I think Pepsi does it to see which ones are popular. For participating, we each got free bag of sunflower seeds.

Near closing time, around 11:30pm or so, you can enjoy the closing sale deals. Many booths will have their dishes lowered to $2. Closes at midnight!

Open from May 10 to September 8, 2013.
Friday and Saturday: 7pm – 12am
Sunday and holidays: 7pm – 11pm