A five-day fireworks festival kicks off in Calgary this week

Aug 19 2021, 4:12 pm

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After a year’s hiatus, GlobalFest is finally returning to Calgary this week, bringing five nights of fireworks, international cuisine, and live entertainment.

The much-loved fireworks festival begins on Thursday evening at Elliston Park for a celebration of culture.

While there will be a few changes for this year’s event, “Alberta’s most explosive festival” will still feature many of the experiences we know and love, with a delicious selection of international food booths, performances by cultural dance and musical troupes, and of course, spectacular fireworks shows.


Mike Cheong/GlobalFest

For five nights between August 19 and 28, teams from China, India, Japan, and the Philippines will go head-to-head to show off the best pyrotechnics their nations have to offer, set to music. This year, fireworks displays from these teams will be managed a little differently.

“With international border restrictions still in place, these teams will not be here to build their shows in person,” reads a press release from GlobalFest. “Instead, their pyro-musicals will be brought to fruition by local pyrotechnicians while the designers oversee it via video call.”

The event kicks off on Thursday evening, with Team China opening the International Fireworks Festival. The complete fireworks schedule for the event is as follows.

August 19: China (“Summer of Passion”)
August 21: India (“Team India’s Journey Through Various Popular Music Genres”)
August 24: Japan (“Escape from the Plague”)
August 26: Philippines (“A Lorica – Our Fight Song”)
August 28: Finale – Canada (“Spirit of the Nation”)

For 2021 only, event organizers have opened up 40% more park space, offering a new vantage point and the closest-ever seating to the fireworks. GlobalFest will also have four stages around Elliston Park’s lake so that every seat is the best in the house, with entertainment provided by a number of the event’s cultural partners.


Sophia Tran/Global Fest

Guests won’t see the usual cultural pavilions, activation spaces, and night market to allow for physical distancing. However, those looking for a foodie experience will still find over 20 international food booths.

Additionally, the whole park has been licensed to allow guests of legal age to enjoy alcoholic beverages right from their seating area.

Fireworks lovers can purchase their tickets online in advance; general admission and VIP Village experiences are available.

Those who purchased tickets for the 2020 festival can exchange their tickets online, at the GlobalFest offices, or call event organizers to defer their admission until 2022.


When: August 19 to 28
Where: Elliston Park (1827 68th Street SE, Calgary)
Cost: $21 (or $46 for VIP tickets)

Elle McLeanElle McLean

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