Celebration of Light is an event you don’t want to miss in Vancouver. One of my closest family friends took me last year for the first time. I had no idea what to expect but since that night, I have become a serious fan. Six weeks prior to the 2011 Celebration of Light, I prepared everything to make sure I wouldn’t miss this scenic event.
As a soon-to-be-MBA-student, fan of being green and a person who dislikes long delays, I decided to plan my trip downtown by taking public transit and cycling. Last year, we got stuck in a traffic jam driving down so this year, I planned a bike route connecting to my bus. I took bus 160 and it dropped me two blocks from the Vancouver Convention Center. Then I rode my bike for 20 minutes through Stanley Park towards English bay instead of going through downtown where it would’ve been jam packed with people. This route gives cyclists safe and convenient access to Stanley Park, First and Second beach, as well as English Bay.
Remember to bring:
- Blanket – Secure a good spot on the beach by spreading out a blanket
- Food and snacks – Especially if you are arriving early in the day
- Warm clothing – As hot as it could be in the daytime, it gets windy and chilly at night
- Flashlight – To find your belongings or for any emergencies on the way home
- Radio – Listen to the live music on 104.3FM synchronize with the fireworks
- Camera – Capture the beautiful lights but don’t spend all your time shooting or you will miss the main event itself
- Backpack – To hold of all of these items
The weather was perfect, partly cloudy, no direct sunshine so I saved on sunscreen. A few raindrops fell but that was not a big deal. The police helicopter hovering overhead and a red giant coast guard hovercraft marching along with the beach line were interesting. But the extremely unexpected addition was the air show at 8:30pm. The climax of the performance was a free dive with the engine shut off. It was so exciting to see the Zivko Edge 540 aircraft darting down a few meters in front of you. It looked like the airplane was about to crash but a few meters above the water, the skilled pilot, Pete McLeod managed to manoeuvre astutely and flew straight upwards exactly like a space rocket. The roaring sounds of the engine combined with the delicate moves were breathtaking.
The main event started on time at 10:00 pm and the sparkles were stunningly colourful. They filled the sky like a thousand vibrant stars, dancing to the music. The Chinese fireworks artists had divided the performance into three parts. Each part started with silence followed by a different music theme. You could feel the air waves in the atmosphere followed by the firework explosions. Overall, it was an unforgettable experience.
Celebration of Light Schedule:
China – July 30, 2011
Spain – August 3, 2011
Canada – August 6, 2011