But I’d wager that – if there’s one event the whole city really gets pumped up for – it’s got to be the Celebration of Light: the 3-day summer fireworks fest on English Bay.
There’s just something about fireworks. I think humans must be hardwired to get a kick out of watching huge balls of color flashing across the sky to a soundtrack of explosive booms. Add in the beautiful backdrop of English Bay on a warm night – not to mention a few hundred thousand of your closest friends - and you’ve got a recipe for a magical evening.
This summer promises to be no exception. The lineup for the 22nd Celebration of Light was announced last week and includes some exciting new faces. And the good news is that after years of financial struggles, this year’s festival has a committed sponsor and plenty of financing. Appearing at Celebration of Light for the first time ever will be Vietnam. The Vietnamese squad kicks things off on Saturday, July 28. They’ll face off against South American powerhouse Brazil (Wednesday, Aug. 1) and perennial contender Italy (Saturday, Aug. 4).
This year’s festival again features the death-defying stunts of the Red Bull Airshow, whose aerial acrobats will perform just before dark. It’s also worth noting that Honda Canada has stepped in as title sponsor, ensuring that the show will indeed go on.
If you’re new to Celebration of Light – the world’s biggest off-shore fireworks display, by the way – here’s how it works: Each team gets one night to wow the city with a choreographed fireworks display, set to a soundtrack broadcast over local radio. Special fireworks judges weigh in on which team takes home the coveted championship.
But the real fun is just sitting back and watching it all. Over the three-day festival, more than one million Vancouverites are expected to crowd English Bay and other top viewing areas. Hardcore fans arrive early to stake out prime spots in the sand. Bands and street food vendors lend the whole scene a party atmosphere. Then, once the sun sets, the magic in the sky begins.
Full details on the 22nd Celebration of Light are expected to appear in the weeks ahead on www.hondacelebrationoflight.com.
Any Celebration of Light fans out there? Got magical memories from years past? Let us know.