Celebration of Light International Fireworks Competition - Vancouver

by Nathan


I’ve never been to New York’s Time Square on New Years Eve, but this is what I think it would look like—an explosion of colour falling like raindrops all around you.  Vancouver’s Celebration of Light International Fireworks Competition is a once-in-a-year event, and if you’re in town for it, don’t miss it!  The Celebration of Light usually happens at the end of July and lasts for a couple of weeks.

What is the Celebration of Light?  It’s a fireworks competition between three countries.  These aren’t just any old bottle rockets and roman candles:  they are big mommas that shoot way up into the sky and light up the entire sky for brief moments.  Everything is synchronised with music.  It really is an amazing sight.  The best day to go is the last day, which is the finale where all the countries competing take turns at wowing the hundreds of thousands of people watching.

The Celebration of Light takes place in English Bay.  Don’t count on finding a parking spot nearby, plus the police close down a bunch of streets in the West End.  If you want a parking spot and a good seat, my advice to you is to make a day trip to the beach and just chill out there.  English Bay is adjacent to Stanley Park, Denman Street and Robson Street so don’t worry about having nothing to do.  If a day at the beach doesn’t do anything for you, simply head for higher ground and I bet you’ll still get a decent view.   These fireworks are so incredibly big that you can witness them from the mountains on the North Shore.  That’s why I am so lucky because my room faces the whole city.  In fact I used to set up a mini theatre in my bedroom and charge my family money to watch the fireworks.  Things were going good until Jen got in on the act.

If you want to see the fireworks from the hills, go for a drive with your family up either Cypress or Fromme mountains on the North Shore.  A hint is the higher you go, the better your view will be.  Cypress has a great spot with picnic tables, as well as a viewpoint further up the mountain.  Also there are streets in West Vancouver and North Vancouver where you can get incredible views.  Just find an area where you can see the city and Stanley Park, and you’ll be good to go.  Trust me, these fireworks are amazing and you will not want to miss them.  Listen to our local radio stations for the dates. 


Honda Celebration of Light, 604-641-1193.