Nanaimo: Bathtub Race Capital of the World

Events Nanaimo

From an amazing start in 1967 as part of Nanaimo’s Centennial activities, the Bathtub race has become an annual event dubbed the Nanaimo “Great” International World Championship Bathtub Race along with a 4 day Nanaimo Marine Festival.

Nanaimo Bath Tub Race

This unique Vancouver Island race was originally across the straits of George to Fisherman’s Cover near Vancouver on the mainland. The adventurous tubbers now race around two local islands, Entrance and Winchelsea, then back to Departure Bay in Nanaimo.

Nanaimo Marine Festival

The Nanaimo Marine Festival also hosts an number of other events and activities that fun to watch and participate in.

The 2011 festival’s theme is a salute to the Canadian Naval Centennial and the salute will also be the theme for the “Sail Past on Wheels Fun Parade” on the Saturday of Bathtub weekend.

Nanaimo Marine Festival 2011 Events and Activities

Event details are courtesy of Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society. Please check their website for up-to-date details.

With many of the events free, this an excellent family and fun event.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

  • Kick Off – July 21st with the opening of the LNBS (Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society) Marine Festival Food Fair
  • Kiddies Harborside Playdock
  • Kiddies Karnival
  • “Tim Hortons” Marine Festival Entertainment Stage
  • Children’s programs at Maffeo Sutton and Swy-a-lana Lagoon parks (adjacent to the Nanaimo Harbor).
  • Many informative static displays on boat safety, military, water sports plus many others.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

  • July 23rd at 10:30 am the annual “Sail Past on Wheels Fun Parade” takes place through the Old City Quarter and the City Center ending up at Maffeo Sutton Park.
  • The Loyal Order of the Moose Bavarian Garden held in Maffeo Sutton park.
  • Various events in the harbor.
  • Evening – 10pm – The Quality Foods Festival of Lights & Music fireworks display

Sunday, July 24, 2011

  • The 45th annual “Great” International World Championship Bathtub Race starting at 11:00 am. (approximately 1 1/2 hour)
  • Marine Festival Food Fair
  • Kiddies Karnival
  • Harborside Playdock

All during the events there are a number of great places for food and refreshments.

Getting To Nanaimo

Nanaimo is the 2nd largest city on the east coast of beautiful Vancouver Island and is one of the main ferry terminals from the Vancouver mainland. It is the gateway to a host of gulf islands, destinations and attractions for residents and visitors.  The ferry service has frequent sailings from two Vancouver terminals, Departure Bay and Tsawwassen.   More information at BC Ferries.

Separated by the Straight of Georgia, Nanaimo is 55km (34 miles) west of Vancouver and 110 km (68 miles) north of the capital of British Columbia, Victoria. There is easy highway access from anywhere on Vancouver Island.

Via Rail offers service from Victoria in the south and Courtenay in the North. More information at Via Rail .

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Amazing Vancouver Island and a clickable link back to this page.

Publisher of Amazing Vancouver Island. Doug grew up in Kamloops and Vancouver. He is also the President of KIAI Angency, an Internet Marketing and Branding agency in Vancouver. He is an avid photographer and you can see his many pix of Vancouver Island on Flickr.


  1. Bath tub race sounds like fun! But I don’t want to get wet. It ruins my fur blow out.

  2. Pingback: Nanaimo: Bathtub Race Capital of the World | Amazing Vancouver Island | WetSalad --- Why have the normal?

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