Celebration of Light 2011 – Best Spots to Watch the Fireworks

Vancouver's Celebration of Light Fireworks Competition

Vancouver’s seminal summer event, the annual Celebration of Light International Fireworks Competition, is starting in less than a week: the first day of fireworks is Saturday, July 30!

The Vancouver Celebration of Light Fireworks Competition is more than just three nights of phenomenal pyrotechnics over Vancouver’s English Bay; it’s one of the world’s most prestigious fireworks competition, attracting the world’s best fireworks pyrotechnicians and designers as well as over a million spectators, making it the summer event in the Lower Mainland.

So, which countries are competing in 2011 and where are the best places to watch?

Traditionally, there have been four nights of Celebration of Light fireworks, but for 2011 there will be only three: This year is the “Battle of the Champions” a three-way competition between the past three winners, China, Spain and Canada.

Celebration of Light 2011 Fireworks Schedule – All shows begin at 10pm.

  • Saturday, July 30 – China performs “China Storm”
  • Wednesday, August 3 – Spain performs “Odyssey”
  • Saturday, August 6 – Canada performs “Then and Now”

The best vantage points for watching the Celebration of Light Fireworks are the beaches facing English Bay: English Bay Beach, Vanier Park and Kitsilano Beach, and Jericho Beach. These sites are always super crowded, so be sure to go early if you want a spot on the beach, and do not drive (roads to English Bay Beach and Vanier Park/Kits Beach will be closed to non-local traffic). Use Translink to plan your trip by bus, SkyTrain or Canada Line.

For more great places to watch the fireworks, use Tourism Vancouver’s Interactive Map of Vancouver. Search for “fireworks” and the Interactive Map will plot multiple viewing points for you as well as offering pictures, descriptions, and tips about the various fireworks-viewing locations.

And don’t forget: There are also free SHOREfest concert series at three of the most popular vantage points, English Bay Beach, Vanier Park and Kitsilano Beach. The live music and entertainment of SHOREfest run from 7pm – 10pm on each day of the fireworks—think of it as the fireworks opening act!

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