Summer festival season in Vancouver kick offs with a run on rainwear

It might be summer but it certainly doesn't feel like it, while most are trying to gear up for this weekend's rainy forecast others are rejoicing in it.

"When it rains, the money pours," says co-owner of store that sold 4,000 ponchos in one day

The owner of Three Vets says two event groups came to buy ponchos for festivals this weekend. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

It might be summer but the forecast isn't calling for swimsuit shopping, instead ponchos seem to be what's flying off the shelves this week. 

On Thursday, one camping and travelling equipment company sold 4,000 ponchos to two event groups that are holding festivals this weekend. 

"When it rains, the money pours," said Keith Wolfman, co-owner of Three Vets. 

Three Vets co-owner Keith Wolfman says business is good when the forecast is bad. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

"We get no notice and they usually want to pick it up within 24 hours. Everyone is in a panic," he said. 

Wolfman said he is also getting a lot of television and movie industry crews coming in to buy hand warmers and rubber boots.

Camping and travel equipment store Three Vets says it sold 4,000 ponchos in one day. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)
Three Vets co-owner Keith Wolfman said film crews have been coming in to buy rainboots in July. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Festivals gear up

Khatslano Street Party's festival organizers were also on the hunt for ponchos as they prepared for Saturday's event. 

"We've got hundreds of ponchos and plenty of umbrellas to hand out to any attendees," said fesitval organizer Jane McFadden.

Khatsahlano organizer Jane McFadden said the festival isn't worried about the rain too much because it's prepared. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)
They will be handing the items out at information booths and at stages. 

Despite the fall-like forecast, McFadden isn't concerned about a low turnout. 

"I think Vancouverites are used to a little bit of rain, a little bit of sun and back to the rain. We are flexible right? And we're prepared," she said. 

Khatsahlano organizers bought dozens of umbrellas to hand out to festival goers. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

The Khatsahlano Street Party is Vancouver's largest free music and arts festival. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Organizers of the festival prepared for the fall-like forecast by buying hundreds of ponchos to hand out to attendees. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Many other outdoor events set for this weekend say they'll go ahead, rain or shine. But if you're planning to catch a Vancouver Canadians game, call a few hours before the game to make sure it has not been postponed.

Where did summer go? 

Environment Canada is forecasting a wet start this weekend with a drier second half to the weekend, but it's not summer weather.

"Here we are in July —  which is the classic summer month — but looking more like Spring," said said Matt MacDonald, a meteorologist with Environment Canada. 

"We are calling it July-aury or Jul-April, whatever you like, it's not at all a summer-like pattern," he said. 

He says the forecast is looking sunnier for the second part of July and August.

About the Author

Tina Lovgreen

Video Journalist

Tina is a Video Journalist with CBC Vancouver. Send her an email at