Five Solid Reasons Why July Is Totally Going To Kick Ass…

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A pair of brave surfers cracking West Vancouver's elusive Dundarave code (July 2008 - photo Michelle Sproule)

‘Tis the time for lingering late on house decks and restaurant patios, staying long at farmer’s markets and BBQs, and forgetting the time in clouds of weed smoke at outdoor festivals that pop up like mushrooms in almost every neighbourhood. July has to be one of the best months going in Vancouver, and we’re stoked to be here for all the awesome things that this particular one has to offer. Here are five:

Destroyer

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They don’t play all that often, so it’s a really good month when you can say you’ve been to a Destroyer gig. Destroyer plays the Biltmore July 17th and I’m telling you now because it will sell out. Get it together – head to Zulu for a tickets.

Outstanding in the Field

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There are few events in the year that I look forward to more than Outstanding In The Field. It’s expensive – lets get that little detail out of the way right off the bat. 200 beans for dinner and you have to bring your own plate (and bug spray) – but its worth it. One hundred times over. Outstanding in the Field is a mid summer feast, complete with linen table cloths and wine pairings, that magically materializes (with the help of a troop of culinary gypsies) in a field or meadow close to the city for only one night and vanishes without trace by the next morning. Read all about it on a previous Scout post here. This month Vancouver’s UBC Farm (July 19) and Pemberton’s North Arm Farm (July 18) are hosting the event – so you have two chances to take part. We might see you at both…

Folk Fest

There is something quintessentially Vancouver about Folk Fest. Even if you’re not in to folk music, a summer evening in Jericho Park with music flowing, patchouli in the air, and a little sand between your toes gets pretty awesome fast. It’s as close to Woodstock as we’re going to get – and a little Woodstock is good for everyone. The 32nd annual Vancouver Folk Festival runs July 17, 18, 19 and will include 60 artists from 14 countries. Whet your palate with the lineup for the evening of Friday July 17th: a few sets by Canadian “Punk-inflected folk rock” band The Weakerthans followed by Texan folk/alternative band Iron and Wine with Arrested Development to finish. Dude. Other acts that promise a good show: Ontario’s Great Lake Swimmers (Catcher Song is a good slow-summer-evening-with-a-bourbon kinda song – see above); local band The Breakmen and their toe-tappin’ country twang; Mark Berube & the Patriotic Few, from Quebec (but a regular on the Vancouver scene) and known for “sophisticated folk, savvy writing, stirring vocals and impeccable delivery”; and Vancouver Alt/Latin band Pacifika. For the complete lineup and ticket info visit the Folk Fest website.

Illuminares Lantern Festival

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Also known as the Trout Lake Lantern Festival – this is one of the best summer festivals going. Thousands of people gather at dusk with handmade lanterns and wacky costumes to float through the trees and across the lawns of Trout Lake Park in a slow moving procession of faeries and all manner of otherworldly creatures. The fun really begins when the sun goes down. Fire jugglers, musicians and dancers entertain as you admire lanterns and light installations situated throughout the park grounds. It’s sort of like stumbling into a dream (or a really mellow acid trip), a magical way to spend a summer evening. The Festival was put on the shelf last year due to a lack of funding – so if you make it this year be sure to drop a toonie in the donations bucket, as it takes an awful lot of hours to organise faeries. The 20th annual Illuminares Lantern Festival will be held on July 25th 2009 at 6 PM – 10 PM. We’ll see you there.

The Diamond

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One final thing to secure July as the most kick-ass month on the calendar: The Diamond is finally open. I’m thinking the cool summer breezes that slip through the cobblestone streets of Gastown will turn the open window tables at The Diamond into portals that lead to a sanguine dimension (Well, that and the cocktails…). The Diamond is located at #6 Powell Street at the corner of Powell & Carrall and is open Wednesday to Sunday 5:30pm to Midnight.

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late-may-2009-169Michelle Sproule grew up in Kitsilano and attended Bond University in Australia and the University of Victoria before receiving her graduate degree in Library Sciences from The University of Toronto. She lives by the beach in Vancouver and enjoys wandering aimlessly through the city’s shops and streets with her best friend – a beat up, sticky, grimy, and uncooperative camera.

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