Love’em or hate’em, the HSBC Celebration of Light fireworks nights are back for another go this summer. It’s outdoors, it’s midsummer and it’s free, not sure how much better things can get except for the fact that you’re sharing this experience with one million other people on the shores of English Bay.
The world’s leading fireworks manufacturers consider the HSBC Celebration of Light international fireworks competition to be the most prestigious events of its kind in the world and an exciting arena where they can unveil the latest pyro-musical techniques and the most innovative fireworks materials. [Celebration of Light]
To observe the spectacle this year park your beach blanket early to reserve a good vantage point and pick your night to go check them out.
Each show is approximately 25 minutes and is centered around a barge floating off the shore in English Bay. They can be viewed from various vantage points from English Bay, Vanier Park, Jericho Beach, out in the water if you have a boat, and the photo below was taken from Cypress Mountain. The event used to be called the “Symphony of Fire” because each presentation is actually put to music that you can turn into on ROCK 101, which you can still tune in and listen to.
Remember this is a competition afterall, so beginning this year spectators get the chance to vote for their favourite display via text message.
New this year, YOU can participate in the voting for the HSBC Celebration of Light using your mobile phone! Text LIGHT to 24365 to register. Upon registering, you will receive a text message after each of the 3 competition nights asking you to rate the performance for that evening. Audience text votes each night will be tabulated and submitted as the 7th official judge. [Text to Vote]
The whole ‘controversy’ stems from residents downtown and in Kits being annoyed by the crowds and noise, although every negative blog post I read about the fireworks last year doesn’t just complain about hundreds of thousands of people – no – they complain that they are coming from the suburbs. (I’ll hold my tongue on that one…) I also hear it’s not the best for the environment with the smoke and loud noise killing little baby birdies’ eardrums. Aside from all of that… it seems to be great for businesses downtown and fun for the whole family.
Iâ€™ve experienced the fireworks as a child. Weâ€™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 Iâ€™d retire up the hill a bit to the blanket my mom had laid out. [Miss604, 2006]
Last year we met up with Dave O [uncleweed][Canucks Outsider] and his clan for a picnic on a grassy hill and enjoyed a summer sunset. I don’t miss my days of Skytraining back home after the fireworks waiting for hours in a transit mosh pit since the walk back home through the West End is pretty painless – you only have to play Frogger a few times.