Douglas Street will come alive this Sunday for downtown Victoria’s largest street fair, Car Free YYJ.
Hosted by the Downtown Victoria Business Association, nine blocks of Douglas Street from Chatham Street/Caledonia Avenue to Courtney Street will be lined with more than 275 vendors (artisans, businesses, food vendors and not-for-profits), along with a 5,000 square-foot grassy park, four stages with live entertainment (including a stage hosted by the First Peoples Festival), three licensed areas, historic fire trucks and more.
This year organizers have added three blocks to the festival, increasing the size by 50 per cent.
“This is a celebration of a wonderful community in which we live,” said Ken Kelly, general manager of the Downtown Victoria Business Association. “We will have something for everyone — whether it is sitting in the park, listening to a band or shopping on the street — you’ll find it at Car Free YYJ.”
The entertainment for the festival celebrates local talent with 25 acts spread over four stages. Some of those acts include Acres of Lions, Ahousaht Dancers, Animal Kingdom by Surrounded by Cedar, Carmanah, Coastline, Coffee Eyes and Dirty Mountin.
Car Free Day will offer a free bike valet for those who choose to ride their bikes to the event. For those who drive, free parking will be available at all five city parkades and street metres. Yates Street, Johnson Street and Fort Street will remain open for traffic through downtown. Douglas Street will be closed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Buses that use Douglas Street will be re-routed onto Blanshard between Bay and Courtney Streets. Temporary stops will be set up on Blanshard, corresponding to the stop locations on Douglas.