06/20/2015 08:05 EDT | Updated 06/20/2016 05:59 EDT

Car Free Days a hit in Vancouver

The smell of open air cooking, the laughter of kids, live performances, merchants, artists and artisans.

Walking down Denman Street on Saturday for the 11th annual Car Free Days in Vancouver, you could have been forgiven for thinking you were at the fair.

"Who would have thought this ... walking on Denman Street and no cars? I love it. It's wonderful," said Rita Browne.

"I get to meet merchants right here in the open without having to go into a store. To be here with all the community is simply wonderful."

From its inception as an anti-vehicle protest in 2004, Car Free Day is now the largest community street festival in Vancouver. This year it's being held in three different places over two days, Saturday and Sunday. 

In Kitsilano, both days will also feature a number of block parties thrown by local residents.

Mathew Carrico with the Car Free Vancouver Society says hopefully it's a sign of things to come.

"This is one day, but year round we're saying local communities with less cars in them are going to be healthier, happier and more pleasant places to be and if Vancouver is moving in that direction that's a city i want to be in."

Most of those who showed up agreed with him.

Car Free Day resumes on Sunday on Commercial Drive between Venables and Grandview, and on Main Street from Broadway to 30th Avenue.