Light Up Chinatown! Street Festival Returns For Third Year

August 14, 2023

From September 9-10, the annual outdoor festival invites everyone to explore Vancouver’s Chinatown

Light Up Chinatown! Street Festival Logo and Design | September 9 to 10th, 2023

Vancouver, B.C. (August 14) – Today, Vancouver Chinatown Foundation is proud to announce the return of Light Up Chinatown! presented by RBC on September 9 and 10th. In its third year, the free two-day community festival will bring the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown to life with live music, cultural performances, and inventive food collaborations on the 500 block of Columbia Street. The festival will open on Saturday, September 9, from 11am – 9pm PT and Sunday, September 10, from 11am – 6pm PT.

Light Up Chinatown! welcomes everyone to come to celebrate the history, culture, and culinary creations of this vibrant community with two days of street eats, performances, and activities for all ages. It is a great way to support local businesses as well. For families, there is a dedicated kids’ “fun zone,” and for the adults, for the first time, Light Up Chinatown! will be fully licensed, allowing people 19+ with a valid ID to enjoy beer, wine and spirits inside the festival grounds. 

“Vancouver’s Chinatown is brimming with rich history, unique culture and home to many small businesses. Light Up Chinatown! is a celebration of the neighbourhood’s spirit and the testament to the community’s resilience,” said Carol Lee, Chair of the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation. “We’d like to extend a warm invitation to everyone to join us at Light Up Chinatown!  and experience the colours, tastes and sounds of this important historic neighbourhood.” 

During Light Up Chinatown! local merchants will offer exclusive discounts across the neighbourhood. Visitors can also collect stamps from merchants for a chance to win prizes, including concert tickets and more. With the popularity of last year’s foodie collaborations, this year there will be even more between Chinatown’s landmark restaurants. This year’s collaborations will include pairings from Bao Bei and The Boss, DD Mau and Boba Run, Kam Wai and Treasure Green Tea, and Chinatown BBQ and Beaucoup Bakery. These collaborations will only be available during the festival! 

Light Up Chinatown! will also include a ticketed pop-up special event – the “Party of 5” skewer event. Hosted at 127 East Pender on Saturday, September 9th, it will bring a group of restauranteurs from across Chinatown and Vancouver, including Michelin star chef Pete Ho of Sumibiyaki Arashi, and Doug Chang of Ai & Om Knives, for an evening of culinary appreciation. 

Vancouver’s Chinatown is one of Canada’s oldest neighbourhoods and the third-largest Chinatown in North America. The iconic neighbourhood is home to an irreplaceable cultural history, and a uniquely diverse arts, culture, and culinary scene. The inaugural Light Up Chinatown! was conceived as a symbol of the community, hope and a response to the rise of anti-Asian hate that escalated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Light Up Chinatown! produced by the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation and co-hosted by the Vancouver Chinatown BIA Society, the Vancouver Chinatown Merchants Association, the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, and the Chinese Cultural Centre.
After remarkable attendance in 2021 and 2022, 12,000 people are expected to attend the festival this year. For more information about the Light Up Chinatown! and the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation, please visit

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About Vancouver Chinatown Foundation

The Vancouver Chinatown Foundation is a registered charity committed to the revitalization of Chinatown, one of Canada’s most iconic neighbourhoods in the historic heart of Vancouver. The Foundation builds more resilient and inclusive communities by promoting the well-being of those in need, while preserving Chinatown’s irreplaceable cultural heritage. Learn more at

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