Every year for one night in November, thousands of Vancouverites fill Burrard Street to watch the fireworks display that kicks off the annual Christmas-time Lights of Hope charity initiative at St. Paul’s Hospital in downtown Vancouver.
The bright and colourful display first began in 1998 and has since grown into a community celebration that supports the hospital’s greatest patient care and equipment needs. The largest donations are recognized by printing the individual or company’s name on the display’s back-lit stars.
Last year’s campaign alone raised $2.4-million, and hospital officials hope to exceed that target for 2014.
Lights of Hope uses donated materials, including 10 kilometres of string lights and more than 100,000 bulbs. The display requires very little energy to operate: it costs only $65 each night to turn on the display, in large part to the use of LED bulbs for 60 per cent of the lights. The LED bulbs also last twice as long as incandescent bulbs.
Volunteers will spend the next few weeks building and testing the lights before they are officially turned on during the fireworks celebration on Thursday, November 27, 2014. An intense fireworks display will be shot from the roofs of the display structure and hospital.
In addition to fireworks, the evening’s programming will also include food trucks and fun family activities.
Images: St. Paul’s Hospital