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Celebration of Light, News

Disney wins 2016 Honda Celebration Of Light fireworks competition

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Kenneth Chan Aug 01, 2016 2:30 am

The best was saved for last as the Walt Disney Company, representing the United States of America, has won the 26th annual Honda Celebration of Light fireworks competition.

The House of Mouse’s success was announced this morning by the Vancouver Fireworks Festival Society, the organization that plans the event every year.

Close to 600,000 people attended the spectacular final show held this past Saturday night designed by the Walt Disney Entertainment division responsible for the nightly fireworks shows at Walt Disney World Resort’s theme parks in Florida.

The Disney team’s 25-minute-long show was themed around some of the company’s most iconic music and songs from its cinematic properties, including “Let It Go” from Frozen, “Circle Of Life” from The Lion King, “Under The Sea” from The Little Mermaid, various themes from Star Wars, and Fantasia.

Relive the entire 25-minute Disney show at the 2016 Honda Celebration of Light:

The other two competitors were Royal Fireworks, representing Netherlands, which designed this year’s first show on Saturday, July 23 on the theme of “Journey in Time” through music ranging from classical music to techno. This was followed by Australia’s Howard’s Fireworks on Wednesday, July 27 with its “Live and Loud” theme using a soundtrack mix of live concert music.

“Congratulations to Team USA on their winning display, and thank you to all our talented competitors,” said Paul Tilbury, Co-Chair of the Vancouver Fireworks Festival Society, in a statement. “We are also thankful to all of our partners and sponsors for helping us continue this wonderful Vancouver tradition.”

The staggering attendance figure for Disney’s USA night marks a single-night attendance record for the fireworks festival. Early in the evening before the show, there was an indication that there would be a record-breaking night as English Bay Beach was already crowded just after 6 pm – about four hours before the show began, and capacity conditions that occurred three hours earlier than usual.

Vancouver Police were even forced to shut down access to the beach at 9:30 pm over overcrowding concerns. This has never been done before in the quarter-century history of the festival.

“We very much appreciate the time and energy that the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, the Vancouver Police Department and the city’s emergency services teams put into making the Honda Celebration of Light a fun, safe and family-friendly event.”

With approximately 300,000 people attending each of the first two shows, this year’s cumulative attendance is pegged at 1.2 million.

The six judges for the 2016 Honda Celebration of Light were:

  • Lisa Arthurs, Board Member of the West End Business Improvement Association
  • Kenneth Chan, Features Editor at Daily Hive and Co-Founder of New Year’s Eve Vancouver
  • Kristi Gordon, Senior Meteorologist at Global BC
  • Sarah Kirby-Yung, Vancouver Park Board Commissioner and Marketing Chair of the Vancouver Fireworks Festival Society
  • Raymond Louie, Vancouver City Councillor and Board Chair of the Pacific National Exhibition
  • Matt Meehan, Senior Vice-President of Planning at Concord Pacific

Daily Hive Vancouver is a proud Media Partner of the
2016 Honda Celebration of Light

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Kenneth Chan
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, and the travel industry. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]dailyhive.com

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