5 top tips for having the best time during the Vancouver Celebration of Light Fireworks

fireworks vancouver 2019

Image by colink | Inside Vancouver Flickr Pool

There are a lot of amazing events in Vancouver during the long, hot days of the summer. But, the quintessential event has got to be the annual Celebration of Light fireworks event that happens just three nights in July and August (July 27, July 31, and August 3).

The first night of fireworks is fast approaching and to make sure you have an excellent time, we’re outlined five top tips for the best experience.

Check out the tips below and have a blast during one of Vancouver’s best summer events!

celebration of light fireworks vancouver 2019

Image from jellodee | Inside Vancouver Flickr Pool

1. If you want a good spot, get there early

If you thought English Bay was busy enough on a hot, summer Saturday, think again! On a firework night in Vancouver, English Bay gets crowded from noon onwards.

If you want front-row seats to the evening’s firework show, make a day of it! Pack a picnic, a book, towels, and all other necessities and park yourself on the beach for the day. If you’re with friends, take turns going on adventures to Denman Street, which offers hundreds of amazing options for takeout food to enjoy at the beach.

Pro tip: the tide does come in, so make sure you’re not sitting below the tide line before the fireworks start!

2. The view at English Bay is best, but there are less busy options on the other side of the ocean

Yes, English Bay has the best entertainment and view of the fireworks, but if you’re not a big fan of crowds, head to the other side of the ocean. Kitsilano offers a great view of the fireworks, with more space to sit.

Check out Vanier Park for the best view, or wander around to Kits Beach area for more options. Granted, there will still be a lot of people, but it’s a much more relaxed atmosphere that makes the viewing a bit more serene.

Photo credit: Stefan Ritt | Wikipedia

3. Bike / walk / bus – don’t drive!

On firework nights in Vancouver, getting anywhere by car can be a bit of a nightmare. There will be a bike valet station set up in Stanley Park for safe-keeping of your bike. Or, sign up for Mobi so you don’t have to worry about where to park your bike.

Walking is probably the best option, especially if you’re staying in Downtown. Or, take transit – there are often a number of buses added to accommodate the sudden surge of traffic after the fireworks have ended.

4. Spend some time at the free festival

Many years ago, the Celebration of Light used to be just fireworks. Can you imagine? Boring! For the past several years, the event has expanded to offer amazing music, food, and entertainment.

This year, there are two options for entertainment while you wait for the main event. There will be a choice between live music stages, one at Second Beach in Ceperely Meadow and Z Fest Stage at English Bay.

Check out the full list of entertainment to plan what you want to see.

fireworks or red, green and yellow explode above vancouver's Enlgish bay and reflect upon the sea below.

Image from Honda Celebration of Light

5. Listen to the official music on your phone or radio for the best experience

It may seem obvious, but for years I had been going to the fireworks and completely ignoring the fact that there was a soundtrack to go with the spectacle.

For the first time, I listened to the official music soundtrack through the app on my phone while watching the show last year. It elevated the fireworks to a whole other level!

If you’re not sitting near a speaker in English Bay, make sure to download the Celebration of Light app, or find a radio to tune into the partnering radio stations to watch the fireworks with music.

Got any other tips to share with us about enjoying the 2019 Celebration of Light in Vancouver? Leave a comment below!

2019 Honda Celebration of Light Details

Dates: Saturday, July 27, Wednesday, July 31, Saturday, Aug 3

Time: Fireworks are from 10 pm – 10:30 pm

Location: English Bay / Kitsilano / Second Beach

Website: www.hondacelebrationoflight.com

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3 Responses to 5 top tips for having the best time during the Vancouver Celebration of Light Fireworks

  1. Doesn’t using your phone or device to stream the radio cause a delay of sound that puts the lights and sound out of sync?

  2. Great article!

    I would also recommend taking refreshments and snacks (not forgetting to take your garbage with you after the show). Lots of juice/water specially if taking kids.

    Also good to instruct foreign visitors that no alcohol or smoking is allowed on our beaches and parks.

    Can’t wait for #TeamCanada next Wednesday!

  3. Yes there is a noticeable delay when listening to radio over the internet. Better to use an actual radio.