5 things to do at the 2018 Honda Celebration of Light fireworks festival

Jul 6 2018, 12:22 am

Vancouver’s quintessential summer event is returning to English Bay for its 28th year with a host of entertainment and activities prior to the fireworks, including a massive air show.

The beloved Honda Celebration of Light will light up the skies over the city on July 28, August 1, and August 4, adding to the energy of the city’s peak summer atmosphere.

“Fireworks, family and fun just naturally go together,” said Heather Owen, West End resident and co-chair of the Vancouver Fireworks Festival Society.

“What could be better than sharing this not-to-be-missed experience with the people you love the most on a Vancouver beach under a summer night sky?”

Every year, the event is attended by over one million people across all three evenings. Here is what is in store for the 2018 festival:

1. Free concerts

Two free concert areas will help build up the anticipation towards the fireworks.

The Park Stage at Second Beach in Stanley Park features live music, with 18 artists that include headliners Busty and the Bass, Jully Black, and Five Alarm Funk. Entertainment within this area, which includes the Honda Zone, begins early at 2 pm.

And over at English Bay Beach, spectators will be entertained by Z 95.3 FM’s Z FEST stage atop the bathhouse roof, featuring Canadian Radio Award Winner Francesco Yates, JUNO Award-nominated Ria Mae, and rising pop-artist Langston Francis.

2. Food trucks

Honda Celebration of Light has one of the summer’s largest congregation of food trucks! Expect a large range of delicious choices, such as The Kaboom Box, Hunky Bill’s, Reel Mac & Cheese, Kampong, and Rocky Point Ice Cream.

3. Airshow with the Canadian Forces Snowbirds

Airshows are part of the Honda Celebration of Light pre-fireworks entertainment each of the three nights, with Pete McLeod Airshow dazzling the waiting crowds over English Bay from 7:45 to 8 pm on July 28 and August 4.

For the August 1 show, Pete McLeod Airshow will be accompanied by the spectacular maneuvers of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds. This special show featuring the country’s famed aerobatics squadron starts at 6:45 pm and ends at 7:40 pm.

Canadian Forces Snowbirds performing. (Cynthia Zullo / Flickr)

4. Picnic and watch the sunset

The Honda Celebration of Light is always an opportunity for a unique beach or park evening picnic with friends and family. Take in the sight of 1,000 boats in the water and the gorgeous summer sunset, and maybe you will even spot the tall water archways created by the water cannons of Vancouver fireboats.

5. And of course, the fireworks!

Rain or shine each night, the fireworks start at 10 pm and last for about 30 minutes. Fireworks are launched from a barge anchored in the middle of English Bay, providing views of the pyromusical from the shorelines at English Bay Beach, Sunset Beach, Stanley Park Seawall, Kitsilano Beach, and Vanier Park.

The participating countries for the 2018 fireworks competition are:

  • Saturday, July 28: South Africa, represented by Fireworks for Africa
  • Wednesday, August 1: Sweden, represented by Unique Pyrotechnic
  • Saturday, August 4: South Korea, represented by Daehan Fireworks Co.

This year, all three participating countries will be required to incorporate the same theme of “Love” into their fireworks display and musical accompaniment, which is simulcast on radio station Z 95.3 FM.

Crowds at English Bay Beach for the Honda Celebration of Light. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

To avoid the “hustle and bustle” of looking for a spot on the beach, consider reserving a space at the YVR Observation Deck, which provides reserved seats, fireworks performance music, the ability to purchase alcoholic beverages, and a designated washroom facility. Tickets start at $44 plus taxes.

Tickets are also available for more premium viewing experiences at The Keg Lounge, next to the Z FEST stage atop the bathhouse roof, and the Concord Lounge at the Inukshuk monument.

And don’t forget to share your memories using the hashtag: #CelebOfLight

In summary…

Honda Celebration of Light

Honda Celebration of Light 2018 schedule. Click on the schedule for an enlarged version. (Honda Celebration of Light)

Daily Hive Vancouver is a proud Media Partner of the 2018 Honda Celebration of Light

See also
Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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