Celebration of Light Fireworks Barge Tour


Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 — 3:21pm PST
Comments 4

This morning I had the chance to tour the Celebration of Light fireworks barge that is anchored out in English Bay. For over a decade this has been the base of each explosive evening of pyrotechnics under the stars.

Tour of the Celebration of Light fireworks barge

Tour of the Celebration of Light fireworks barge Tour of the Celebration of Light fireworks barge

Tour of the Celebration of Light fireworks barge Tour of the Celebration of Light fireworks barge

Tour of the Celebration of Light fireworks barge Tour of the Celebration of Light fireworks barge

Tour of the Celebration of Light fireworks barge

Team USA will be up first tomorrow, followed by Spain July 24th, Mexico July 28th, and a tribute to China on July 31st since they have won the Celebration of Light competition for so many years. Rozzi Fireworks company will be representing the USA for the first time at the Celebration of Light. They hail from Cincinnati where they setup displays for everything from the 4th of July to Reds baseball games. They’re used to putting on a show for large crowds and Vancouver will be no exception.

Tour of the Celebration of Light fireworks barge

Tour of the Celebration of Light fireworks barge Tour of the Celebration of Light fireworks barge

Tour of the Celebration of Light fireworks barge

Here are some tidbits I learned about fireworks production:

  • Teams usually select their music first and then work with a designer who will set the launching time to coordinate high points in the music with the apex of the fireworks
  • It can take weeks to months to match up the right explosives with the team’s music and timing
  • Shows like we see during one night of the Celebration of Light could cost between $150,000 to $200,000 to host
  • All of the shells are hand-made
  • There are about 3,000 shots of fireworks or shells fired per show
  • There are four people on the fireworks barge during the show – they sit up in a little shed surrounded by sandbags to oversee everything
  • Tour of the Celebration of Light fireworks barge

    Tour of the Celebration of Light fireworks barge

    Tour of the Celebration of Light fireworks barge Tour of the Celebration of Light fireworks barge

    Tour of the Celebration of Light fireworks barge

    Tour of the Celebration of Light fireworks barge

    Covered in sand, wires, and fire extinguishers, it’s amazing to see what that flat floating hunk of metal barge can produce in the night’s sky. It’s a culmination of careful design, precision, timing, and having a whole lot of fun when you see the joy the spectacles bring to young and old.

    Reminder: You still have until July 27th to enter to win two prime viewing area seats for the fireworks finale. This includes two seats on top of the English Bay Bathhouse and a BBQ meal.

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    4 comments

    1. Steven says:

      Very interesting read! Thanks

    2. Dom says:

      Nice post, interesting facts and photos.

    3. Kevin says:

      http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=121873898616

      Thanks for this information; it’s very interesting and insightful. I encourage all event goers to PLEASE clean up after themselves. View a photo of last year’s mile of garbage left behind on beautiful English Bay from the event by using the above link to a facebook group that was started last year in response to this horrible situation. The trash was left overnight, and not cleaned up until 6 am the next morning. Meanwhile, our tides swept half of the trash out to sea, and the remainder was sifted through by homeless people, dragged through our neighbourhoods by local wildlife. Amongst the trash was broken glass, used hypo needles and worse. Even the Globe and Mail covered this, while Vancouverites ignored it. Thankfully, it appears the City has enlisted the help of a recycling company for this year, to assist with cleanup.

    4. […] you want to know more, this is an interesting read on the prep done for Celebration of Light. 49.172207 […]

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