One of Vancouver’s most breathtaking spectacles is nearly upon us: the 21st annual Celebration of Light

 

Adding to an incredible long weekend filled with lots to do, the world-renowned musical fireworks festival kicks off Saturday, July 30, 2011.

Celebration of Light

 

July 3 - August 6 2011

 

All shows begin at 10 p.m.

 

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A Celebration of Light showdown

Formerly known as the Symphony of Fire, the first competition was held in 1990 and has become an annual tradition.


This year’s theme is “Battle of the Champions” and pits three past competition winners against each other: China, Spain and Canada.

 

First up is China’s “China Storm”, which takes viewers on a trip through the Year of the Rabbit using the Chinese calendar as inspiration. Spain takes the stage on Wednesday, August 3rd, with their show titled “Odyssey,” representing a journey from Barcelona to Vancouver and featuring a wide range of pyrotechnics and effects.

 

Last but certainly not least, Canada brings it home on Saturday, August 6th, with “Then and Now,” a sure-to-be stunning show exploring how music changes as time progresses. All shows begin at 10 p.m.

 

Best places to enjoy the fireworks

If you're lucky enough to have a friend with a patio in the West End, now's the time to start sucking up. But there are plenty of other great vantage points, including the beach at English Bay, Vanier Park and Kits Beach and Jericho Beach. Also an option (for $45) is a reserved bleacher seat in the new Celebration of Light grandstand in English Bay.


Fireworks not enough? SHOREfest presents performances by 23 bands on three stages each night from 7-10 p.m. before the fireworks show. Also make sure to tune in to SHORE104.3FM for each night’s soundtrack.


A word to the wise: go early and avoid driving. An anticipated 1.4 million people will be vying with you for viewing spots, and the roads around these areas will be closed to non-local traffic at 7:30 p.m.