The Festival

Man with helmet on in bathtub race

What began in 1967 to celebrate Canada’s 100th Birthday and its Centennial year has become a world class event that attracts spectators from around the world. Join us in Nanaimo and take in the Nanaimo Marine Festival and the World Championship Bathtub Race. Enjoy four days of exciting Island-style summer celebrations from Thursday to Sunday. Free events for the whole family, Arts & Crafts Fair, Food Vendors, Beer Garden, Entertainment Stage and a children’s craft tent at Maffeo Sutton Park and Swy-a-lana Lagoon adjacent to the Nanaimo Harbour. Also for your enjoyment are the many informative static displays on boat safety, military, water sports plus many others all taking place.

Events in the city centre include the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association’s Bathtub Days on Commercial Street. A Farmer’s Market is at Pioneer Plaza on Friday.

On Saturday at 10:30am the annual “Sail Past on Wheels Fun Parade” starts at Selby Street, proceeding down Fitzwilliam Street through the Old City Quarter to the Bastion, then along Front Street to Cliff Street.

On Saturday night, Vancouver Island’s premier fireworks display, the spectacular “QUALITY FOODS” Festival of Lights & Music takes place in Nanaimo harbor at 10:00 PM.

Then join the thousands of excited spectators as the annual “Great” INTERNATIONAL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BATHTUB RACE starts at 11:00am sharp on the Sunday in Nanaimo harbour for the approximate 1 ½ hour challenge in the Straits of Georgia to the “PEPSI FINISH LINE” at Maffeo Sutton Park.

Four full days of fun and activities for the young, old and in-between, family oriented and held in NANAIMO, the Sun-Porch of Canada, the Jewel of the West and the Bathtub Racing Capital of the World, during the always (well almost always) sunny month of July. So come join us and take in the World’s Cleanest Sport, Bathtub Racing and the 50th annual “Great” INTERNATIONAL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BATHTUB RACE & Nanaimo Marine Festival.

Mafeo Sutton Park