Skip to main content
 
 
 
 
 

We take our hats off to the community!

Hats Off Day has been a grassroots festival celebrating the best of the Burnaby Heights community since the early 1980s. Today, the event has gradually grown from a small sidewalk event to a day-long celebration that begins with a Family Fun Dash, followed by a mainstreet-style Parade and Street Festival. The best part? A two-kilometre street party with live and roving entertainment, activities, (literally) street food from around the world, a Show & Shine, Merchants’ sales and giveaways, Burnaby Not-for-Profits’ displays, and more. Hats Off Day attracts more than 50,000 people annually.

The event is led by the Heights Merchants Association and the Hats Off Day organizing committee, with support from the City of Burnaby, several Burnaby community partners, as well as a wide range of regional and local sponsors.

Curious about how the event came to be? Watch the History of the Heights. For a list of events and how to get involved, scroll down! 

Location

On Hastings St.

from Boundary Rd. to Gamma Ave.
Parking & Road Restrictions

Date

June 1, 2024

9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
2024 Event Program

Cost

Free

 

Events

Hats Off Day always features an abundance of live music (hosted by local merchants), roving entertainers for folks of all ages, the Family Fun Dash, Show & Shine, and of course, our signature Hats Off Day Parade. The festival always kicks off with the Family Fun Dash at around 9:30 a.m., followed by the Parade at around 10:00 a.m. The street festival, with all its entertainment, begins at around 11 a.m. The full and up-to-date 2024 Hats Off Day Festival event program will be posted here in mid-May 2024.

2024 Event Program

2024 Theme

2024 Hats Off Day Theme

Family Fun Dash

Starting from 9:30 a.m.

Get ready, get set… and dash! The Family Fun Dash started in 2013 with only a dozen kids, and has now become a popular family fitness tradition with up to three hundred children and their parents dashing with them. A fundraiser for charity, this annual fun dash promotes physical fitness and active families, welcoming both strollers and wheelchairs (no bikes, blades or scooters). Child participants receive a special swag bag of treats and an environmentally sustainable wooden laser-carved finisher’s medal.

Be part of Family Fun Dash!

Parade

Starting from 10 a.m.

The Hats Off Day Parade has been a Burnaby Heights tradition since 1989! Featuring local community groups of all kinds, preschools and local high school marching bands, Burnaby Heights businesses, and regional sponsors of Hats Off Day, our mainstreet-style parade is a colourful smorgasbord of our local culture.

Parade Etiquette for Spectators:

  • Safety is our priority. Please respect city officials, volunteers, and each other.
  • Please, never throw litter or any articles onto the roadway. Parade participants can slip or trip on it and become seriously injured. Certain vehicle tires, such as motorcycles, can also slip on debris and cause an accident.
  • Please stay off the street at all times. Parents with small children should ensure their kids remain on the curb at all times.
  • Please do not climb on trees, lamp posts, and/or street furniture.
  • Please refrain from smoking during the parade, especially near any children or seniors.
  • Please allow those in wheelchairs, small children, and seniors to enjoy front row, curb side viewing.
2024 Parade Line up

Street Party

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hold on to your hats!

The Hats Off Day street party is legendary! Since the 1980s, on the first Saturday of June, Hastings Street is closed to vehicular traffic from Gamma to Boundary, and for a whole day becomes a vibrant hub of:

  • Music, performances and multicultural food,
  • A Show & Shine display with more than 100 vintage, sports, and unique vehicles, 
  • A Family Fun Dash children’s race and other exciting activities for kids,
  • Special merchants’ sales and giveaways, and much more.
Learn more about the Street Party!

Show & Shine

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ka-chow!

Get ready to rev your engines and experience the ultimate car lover’s paradise! The Show & Shine display is a must-see for anyone who loves vintage, sports, and unique vehicles. With over 100 stunning cars on display, you’ll be transported to a world of automotive excellence and beauty.

Have a vintage car that you’d like to showcase?

To register your spot, please click the button below. Entry form must be mailed before May 16 or brought with you to registration on June 1.

Be part of the Show and Shine!

Get Involved

Whether you are a Volunteer, a Sponsor, or an Entertainer, you’ve come to the right place. Hats Off Day would not be possible or fun without you! Please see below for more information.

Volunteering

Hats Off Day needs a couple of hundred volunteers: from manning barricades, to assisting with the parade, to distributing volunteer lunches and other materials around the festival site, we need you! You can work for a half-day shift or a full-day shift. Volunteers receive a Hats Off Day t-shirt (barricade volunteers receive a Hats Off Day limited edition baseball hat). Lunch is provided. Youth receive hours toward their volunteering credits for graduation. Barricade volunteers also receive a special gift card thanks.

Not-for-profit societies, local cultural groups, and local amateur sports teams are invited to volunteer as a group of 6 or more, to be barricade volunteers. These groups will receive a donation to their organization as a way of thanks.

Sign up!

Sponsorship

Community-minded organizations help make Hats Off Day possible. We are so grateful to our many past sponsors and take our hats off to them. Please contact the Heights Merchants Association to inquire about sponsorship eligibility and recognition opportunities.

Contact Us

Entertainment

Our festival entertainment varies from local community bands, to high school performers, to professional musicians, roving entertainers and so many others. Much of our entertainers are hired by individual merchants, and some of it is hired by the Heights Merchants Association. Please click on the button below to learn more about being considered for this, or future Hats Off Days’ entertainment roster.

Contact Us

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Hats Off Day?

Hats Off Day is Burnaby’s biggest annual street festival where the Heights businesses take their “hats off” to their community to thank them for their support. 

Hats Off Day was started in the early 1980s by Clay Budd, Larry French, Jack Kuyer and Ed Wood, four merchants on Hastings Street in Burnaby. Watch the History of Hats Off Day movie, here

The festival now attracts over 50,000 attendees every year. There is a colourful parade, vintage car show, thrilling race, live music, fun entertainment, delicious food, and lots of activities appropriate for all ages.

Where & When is Hats Off Day?

The festival has activities planned on Hastings St, all the way from Boundary Rd. to Gamma Ave. 

It takes place Saturday, June 1, 2024 – the festival almost always falls on the first Saturday of June.

What are the main events, and how can I find more information?

The program changes each year. Visit the Event Program page on our website for more info.

 

Family Fun Dash

The 550 metre kids race kicks off Hats Off Day and celebrates health, wellness, families, and fun in Burnaby! This is a fundraiser for the Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society. Click here for more info.

Time: 9:45 a.m.

Place: On Hastings St. in Burnaby, the start line will be at Madison Ave. and the finish line at Macdonald Ave.

 

Parade

The parade begins at 10 a.m.

 

Street Party

Hang on to your hats for one of the biggest, most popular community festivals in the region. Hastings St. is shut down to traffic, but open to excitement, live music and entertainment, kids activities, yummy treats, and much more! Click here for details.

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Place: All along Hastings St. between Gamma Ave. and Boundary Rd.

 

Show & Shine 

Check out the annual Show & Shine with classic and custom vehicles, trucks, and motorcycles. Click here for more info.

Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Place: Between Gamma Ave. and Willingdon Ave. on Hastings St.

What is the cost to attend?

It’s FREE! Spectators can enjoy the parade, vintage car show, and live entertainment along Hastings St. at no cost thanks to our sponsors, community, and merchants.

*If you would like to participate in the Family Fun Dash, entry is $5 and all proceeds benefit the Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society. Click here for more details.

Will the festival still take place if it rains?

Rain or shine, Hats Off Day is on!

Is there an Information Booth? Where?

Yes, it is located between Gilmore Ave and Macdonald Ave at 4019 Hastings St.

Where are the bathrooms?

There are portable washrooms at the intersections listed below, either to the north or south of Hastings St. Look for directional signage.

  • Esmond Ave (SE)
  • MacDonald Ave (SE)
  • Madison Ave (NW)
  • Alpha Ave (SW)
  • Beta Ave (SE)

What do I do if I get injured, or need medical attention?

If it’s a minor incident, go to the St. John’s Ambulance located at Hastings St. and Carleton Ave. (next to 4198 Hastings St.). If it is an emergency, phone 9-1-1. There is a first aid station on Alpha street.

What do I do if I lost someone?

Go to the RCMP Community Police Office located at 4191 Hastings Street (next to the Dairy Queen) to report the lost child/person. Follow their instructions on how to proceed.

What do I do if I found a lost child/person?

This is a two-step process:

  1. DO NOT LEAVE THE CHILD. We do not want to re-lose them.
  2. Walk with the child to the RCMP Community Police Office located at 4191 Hastings Street (next to the Dairy Queen). If the child is unwilling to travel with you, have one person stay with the child, have another person travel to the RCMP office to retrieve help from the RCMP. 

Where is the lost & found located?

For lost items, go to the Burnaby RCMP Community Police Office at 4191 Hastings St. or the event information booth located at 4019 Hastings St. Contact the Heights Merchants Association after Hats Off Day at 604-294-8899 to inquire if your item was turned into the HMA office, or the RCMP Hastings-Brentwood Community Office in the Heights at 604-646-9533.

Wheelchair accessibility?

Hats Off Day is mostly well accessible by wheelchairs, with no stairs to go up or down. If you have input for the organizers about ways we can improve accessibility, please contact the organizers after the festival, at 604-294-8899.

I am participating in the parade - where do I take my parade entry to line up?

Small vehicle and pedestrian entries should enter off of Gamma onto Albert Street and settle on Albert at the Parade Assembly area. Large Vehicle entries should enter at Gamma and Hastings, and park along Hastings Street, lining up to Beta. Parade entries must all register with the Parade Coordinator (high-vis vest) at Beta and Hastings.

I am participating in the Show & Shine with my car/motorcycle - where do I go?

Alpha Secondary School (Parking Lot), from 8:30 a.m. until 10:00 a.m.

Where do I catch the bus?

The buses that normally run along Hastings Street have been rerouted to Pender Street (one block to the south of Hastings Street). 

Is there bicycle parking?

There are bike racks along Hastings Street that you may use.

My vehicle has been towed. Where do I find it?

Vehicles may be picked up at Confederation School off Dundas (west of Gamma), before noon. After 12 p.m., the vehicles will be moved to Mundie’s Towing at 5938 Kingsway at Griffiths, where a towing charge will be applied. 

Are there handicapped parking?

There are two handicapped parking spots 

  • Carleton – Both sides (Pender to laneway to the north)
  • City Parking Lot at Alpha & Pender

Contact The Festival

Hats Off Day is produced by the Heights Merchants Association. The Heights Merchants Association is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that works to foster the economic development of the Heights business district in cooperation with the community. They organize this special festival as a way to unite the community, celebrate what we have together, and give back.

Please get in touch by email for any of the following:

Burnaby Non-profit Organizations’ Display Information

Display Information at the Urban Renewal Site – display@burnabyheights.com  (Please note, due to keeping the spirit of Hats Off Day truly local, we regret we cannot include non-Burnaby organizations. Visit the Displays page for eligibility information.)

Merchant Participation

info@burnabyheights.com  (Please note, due to keeping the spirit of Hats Off Day truly local, and because the event is hosted and paid for by Burnaby Heights merchants as a customer appreciation day, we regret we cannot include vendors from outside the area.)

Sponsorship

info@burnabyheights.com or phone 604-294-9060

For all other inquiries, please fill out the form below.

Tel. 604-294-8899