Happy summer! With so many fabulous, blue-skied days ahead, there is no better time to get out, enjoy your summer and discover all the July things to do in Victoria. You will find hanging baskets bursting with colorful flowers, public markets full of fresh, home grown produce and handcrafted goods and a variety of outdoor concerts and festivals. Whether you are an adventurer or foodie, there are a variety of fun ways in and around Victoria to fill your summer.
Celebrate Canada’s Birthday
Help celebrate Canada’s 148th birthday by making merry at one of the many parties around town on Canada Day on Wednesday, July 1, which honors the day Canada became a new federation with its own constitution by signing the Constitution Act. Visit Fort Rodd Hill and the Fisgard Lighthouse to join in the festivities for this special day and take in fantastic views. Dance to live music, sing a rousing round of “Oh, Canada” or take part in a variety of fun activities for all ages. Of course, you must not forget to save room for a piece of “Canada Day’s biggest birthday cake” at the end of the evening.
Another option is to stop by Bear Mountain’s Canada Day BBQ to hangout by the pool in the afternoon with live music being spun by DJ Spencer Looysen or enjoy a Canadian inspired barbeque in the evening, live music performed by Shaky Ground, lawn games and great prizes. There will also be a bouncy castle and face painting for kids.
Take Pride in Your City
June 27 kicks off Pride Week in Victoria, and this year the city has done something extra special to lead up to the celebration. The intersection of Pandora and Broad streets have painted with three permanent rainbow crosswalks to celebrate the city’s diversity and show support for the local LGBTQ community. However, these colorful crosswalks are not the only fun thing happening during the Pride Week there is Youth Pride Dance, the Big Gay Dog Walk – a great way watch cute dogs in costumes, Pride in the Word and Drag Ball – Baseball. The event culminates in the annual parade and festival on July 5, which features more than 100 vendors and stages acts that everyone will enjoy.
In addition to Pride Week, there are a variety of other fun festivities and celebrations happening in Victoria throughout July. Victoria’s Festival of Food and Wine returns for its seventh year highlighting locally produced food and wine. During the event more than 30 BC wineries will be pouring over 100 wines and treats from some of Victoria’s popular restaurants like the Fairmont Empress and Veneto Tapa Lounge will be served. Festival-goers looking for additional entertainment should check out the Victoria International Buskers Festival to watch flame throwers, acrobats, magicians, jugglers, unicyclists, balloonists, musicians and more. There is even opportunity to sample more cuisine as there will be an International Food Village with bites from a variety of countries. For a little music, head to the annual Rock the Shores concert in the scenic town of Colwood and enjoy performances by artists such as Black Keys, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Jane’s Addiction, Bleachers and more.
Discover Local Arts and Crafts
No summer in Victoria is complete without visiting at least one garden, so why not stop by the Damali Lavender Fest and stroll through the fragrant fields of lavender, get lost in the labyrinth or explore the vineyard where you can sample wine infused with lavender complemented by lavender treats. There will also opportunities to learn more about lavender, such as the harvesting process, an essential oil distillation and soap making demonstrations and a farm tour. If you would like, you can even get hands on and pick your own lavender or make a lavender wand.
Go local and attend festivals that showcase arts and crafts that have been produced right here in British Columbia. The Sooke Fine Arts Show features over 375 original works of fine art created by artists on Vancouver Island and the surrounding BC coastal islands. During the 11-day event you can enjoy live artist demonstrations, talks and music and of course view the beautiful jewelry, pottery, sculptures, photography and paintings created by the artists – you may even find a few pieces to take home!