20 minutes of ooooh!

Comments 8 by Rebecca Bollwitt
With 9 days to go it is a bit surprising to see there isn’t much blog coverage yet for the Celebration of Light [hsbc] which kicks off July 26th and runs every 3 days after that until Aug. 5th.
It was nice to see that the Vancouverite [van] made this month’s inaugural fireworks post and set the theme perfectly: Lots of people, lots of noise, lots of people. Did I mention lots of people?I’ve experienced the fireworks as a child. We’d drive out to Kits from Surrey in the family van and have a picnic on the beach. Finding that perfect rock to balance on and watch the display took a little time. And 10 minutes later the tide was in and my butt would be sore so I’d retire up the hill a bit to the blanket my mom had laid out. At that time it was put on by Benson & Hedges[wiki] but since then it’s become taboo for a tobacco company to sponsor a family event such as this.

As teenagers we’d take the Skytrain [tl] out and stake out a square of grass right in the middle of English Bay[eb]. The show lasted 20 minutes but the hike back up to the train lasted several hours – then there was the lineup at the station – then the mosh-pit like atmosphere on the train. The crowds of drunks, the families trying to safely maneuver a clear path, the one idiot trying to drive his car down the closed street who will eventually piss off a drunk passer-by enough that he may just get a window smashed.

Last year I was in Kits and from 8pm to 4am there was a constant crowd, constant honking and drunken shouts. This year we are smack dab in the middle of the West End. In case you don’t know your Vancouver geography, to get from English Bay beach (the site of the fireworks) to any kind of public transit, you need to get through the West End [city of vancouver]. We fully anticipate the loudness, the inability to sleep soundly and the major pain of getting to the beach and back in (a walk that usually takes about 5 mins).

When we didn’t have the fireworks one summer the city was deemed “no fun”. If we didn’t have them now – they would be sorely missed. There are those who complain, there are the environmental issues, the crazy-mob-of-half-a-million-people issues etc. But all in all, this is just summer in Vancouver. 4 nights out of 365, is manageable. The businesses prosper, people get outside and down to the beach and yeah we DO have fun.

(flickr photo left: miss604) (flickr photo right: Hupaishi)

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8 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. JohnMonday, July 17th, 2006 — 10:51pm PDT

    And now I know what to expect…

    Hmm… maybe we should get some water balloons for our balcony.

  2. LoLo D.Tuesday, July 18th, 2006 — 12:15am PDT

    Your first year dealing with the idiosy of the fireworks! Getting home is a nightmare! And I don’t mean getting home FROM the fireworks, I mean getting home BEFORE the fireworks! I have a special spot that I go to. The crowds aren’t as big, the view is better than most places and you don’t have to get there at 10am to get a good spot…. I’d share it with you but it’s a secret 😛

  3. taraTuesday, July 18th, 2006 — 7:51am PDT

    we have that in toronto too on lake ontario at ontario place, except from July 1-8. i think it used to be called benson and hedges as well. it’s pretty awesome, with a different country theme every night, and we can see them from our rooftop patio. summetime + fireworks = fun!

  4. DaveOTuesday, July 18th, 2006 — 9:56am PDT

    So ideas on where to watch from …? Prefer a grassy slope with a fine view and space to picnic (and free beer ;-)) Whats the view like from Kits rather than West End/EB?

  5. Miss604Tuesday, July 18th, 2006 — 10:02am PDT

    it’s still a really great view from kits – since everything’s up in the air. you only miss those fireworks that cascade off the front of the barge all waterfall-like.

    fewer crowds on that side but the traffic is still a nightmare.

  6. LoLo D.Wednesday, July 19th, 2006 — 11:03am PDT

    *cough cough* my ‘secret’ spot has a grassy hill, a pub nearby AND you can see the high up & off the barge fireworks… still not telling you, though 😛

  7. DaveOWednesday, July 26th, 2006 — 9:27am PDT

    Lolo, you tease! Must i resort to bribery? I am recording music tonight til 10 and think will rush down to Ambelisde for this evening while i spend the next week figuring out your secret place and announcing the location on my podcast ;-).

  8. LoLo D.Wednesday, July 26th, 2006 — 3:22pm PDT

    Good luck! If you think you can find it, good on ya! I’ll be there tonight. As I told Rebecca, I don’t TELL people where it is, I SHOW them. I keep it secret that way since I only go to one night of fireworks usually each summer.

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