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Celebrate the Light

It all started on Canada Day – A fifteen-minute display of light streaks, shimmering arcs and deafening explosions. Then we had a short break and then BAM! The skies were alight again for the Fourth of July. Then it was the bike ravers on Saturday night.

“When will the explosive madness subside?!?!” Said no one.

Bring on the free light parties!

If you are a firework enthusiast living in the Lower Mainland, you will be happy to know that the annual Celebration of Light Festival (formerly the Symphony of Fire), will be returning to English Bay. This year’s naming rights were past to the Japanese auto manufacturer Honda.

Competing this summer will be the USA, France and Japan. The Americans will get the party started on the 26th of July, followed by French on the 30th and finally by Japan on Saturday, August 2nd.

If you have not been to the summer fireworks before, here are a few basic facts and tips for Vancouver’s Celebration of Light:

  • The fireworks are shot from a barge approximately 500 metres from shore.
  • One of the best views for the fireworks is from the water. If you have a friend who owns a boat, send them a quick message on Facebook today. Plant the seed.
  • Don’t plan on getting out of the downtown core quickly. Your best bet is to use public transit and then plan to spend a few hours, post fireworks, walking around downtown or visiting a pub or restaurant. This will give the crowds a chance to disperse.

The Fireworks start at 10 p.m. If that’s past your usual bedtime, make sure to get as much rest as you can the night before.

The Top Ten Signs Summer is Coming to Vancouver

10. Border lineups

Better tack on an extra two hours for your trip to Seattle this weekend. It’s crazy to think that Europeans can travel between countries with hardly any thing more than a signpost.

9. The roof is off

The $560 million roof is retracted at BC Place. Wait. Was that a raindrop? Better close it back up.

8. English Bay is packed

Did you know that the smiles on the Laughing Men extend two centimeters when the temperature gets above 20° Celsius. Fact!

7. No one is bitching about the Canucks

The city takes a two-month break from whining about our beloved Canucks. Sleep now Trevor; the honeymoon is coming to an abrupt end.

6. Gas prices are ridiculous

As soon as people start to abandon their cars for walking or riding to work, the government jacks the gas prices. Well, that’s our theory. Don’t hold us to it.

5. Stan from accounting is talking about his Grind time

Let’s all stand and give him a round of applause. Well-done Stan. Can’t wait to hear about your paddleboard adventures. Yes, that’s sarcasm.

4. The peppermint tents are up

Four new plays for the summer of 2014. The curtain rises on June 11th. This summer’s Bard offerings: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “The Tempest,” “Cymbeline” and “Equivocation,” a play by Bill Cain.

3. It’s raining

Rain spells the coming of every season in Vancouver. Remember folks: It’s what keeps it green.

2. The city is full of pink and purple rhododendron bushes

Douglas Coupland remarked that rhododendron green was an official colour in Vancouver. But for these early days of summer, brilliant coloured flowers hide the green. Thank you Ted and Mary Grieg for your marvelous gift to Vancouver.

1. The bike lanes are full

Those empty Vancouver bike lanes that you cursed at all winter are finally full with environmentally friendly commuters. Don’t hate. Join them!

Celebration of Light

This Saturday, the sky will once again be lit by exploding pyrotechnics, as the Celebration of Light returns to English Bay. This will be the twenty-first year Vancouver will host the event. It has become one of the must-see spectacles of the summer and major draw for tourist booking their Vancouver holiday.

The organizers of this year’s event are hoping to make a little more revenue by selling grandstand, V.I.P. seating at English Bay. The tickets are $45. The early bird seats have already sold, but Tickets Tonight is still selling.

Other changes include a shorter program. Instead of the standard four nights of explosions, this year’s festival will have only three; July 30, August 3rd and August 6th. Canada will perform on the final night.

A panel of judges chosen from the events corporate sponsors will evaluate the competing countries.

For more information on the Celebration of Light, check out their website. There is a really interesting section on the history of fireworks. There is also a full explanation of how the barge is loaded and prepped for each night of action. Apparently it takes a crew of 16 people, three days to prepare the show. There may be 2,000 to 4,500 bombs (that’s what they call them) used in one night’s performance. That’s a lot of gunpowder.

And just remember, if you are coming down to watch the fireworks downtown or at any of the beaches around English Bay, leave the alcohol at home. This is a family event and we want to keep it going for years to come. Enjoy Vancouver.

The Lights of Summer

British Columbia’s Mattress Store

In a province where you can ski the slopes in the morning, golf in the afternoon and spend the evenings on the beach, BC residents know that a comfortable mattress is an essential element to a busy day of west coast fun-and-play.

With the variety of activities that fill our waking hours, it is nice to have a consistent reliable mattress to collapse on when the sun finally sets.

That is why BCers continually choose Simmons Mattress Gallery as their BC mattress store.

Simmons Mattress Gallery has been providing BC residents with quality beds and exceptional service for years. In the last seven, we have distinguished ourselves from the competition by achieving the Consumer Choice Award for mattress store.

We are proud to carry all the top models from the Simmons Beautyrest line, a mattress series defined by the revolutionary non-flip pocket coil.

For an undisturbed sleep that will leave you rested for all BC has to offer, go with a Simmons mattress. You can find the entire series at our Coquitlam mattress store and our Vancouver mattress store. Try one today.

English Bay Sunsets

USA Kicks Off Vancouver’s Celebration of Light

“And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air

Gave proof thro’ the night” that Van City was still there


The Celebration of Light, formerly the Symphony of Fire, returns to Vancouver tonight for four nights of spectacular ariel visuals.

This year there will be four countries competing: United States, Spain, Mexico and China.

The United States will open the fireworks festival tonight with a tribute to the Big Band Era. The theme of their routine, put together by the Rozzi’s Famous Firework team, is ‘In the Mood.’

The shows will then run every Wednesday and Saturday till July 31st, when China will close out the festival.

The countries will be competing against each other under the categories of geneal concept, colour, originality, quality of production and correlation of music.

Last years festival was not judged, but the 2008 winner was Canada’s Archangel Fireworks Inc., with their theme of ‘Attack.’

This year the fireworks will be shot from two separate barges setup in English Bay.

Here is a list of some of the top viewing spots:

English Bay Beach

-You can hear the music from the loudspeakers, the waterfalls from the barge are all visible and the ariel explosions are directly overhead.

Burrard Bridge

-Spots fill up fast and you have to stand the whole time, but the bridge is an awesome elevated location.

From a boat in English Bay

-If you or a friend is lucky enough to have a boat, find a spot in the bay and enjoy the show from the water. If there is any extra room on your vessel make sure to call us.

(Safety note: Make sure your boat is equipped with a spotlight to find your way back through the maze of other ships once the show has wrapped)

Vanier Park

-Not as close as English Bay, but the crowds are more bearable and the sight lines are excellent.

(Musical note: If you are watching the fireworks from a distance, make sure to bring aportable radio and tune into Shore 104fm to listen to the corresponding music.)

Celebration of Light

If you have any opinions about the performances, feel free to share them with us as comments on our blog.

Enjoy!

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