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Aerobatic show brings free-fall dives, flips, spins, to popular Vancouver fireworks event

The Red Bull Air Show returns to English Bay.

Back in April, the Honda Celebration of Light announced its lineup for the city's massive fireworks festival -- the largest public event in B.C. -- and Thursday they announced the return of a special addition, the Red Bull Airshow.

Howard and Sons Pyrotechnics from Australia, Grupo Avacon from Mexico, and Blue Peacock Fireworks from the Philippines will be lighting up the sky starting at 10 p.m. July 22, 26, and 29, but before that, pilot Pete McLeod will perform a jaw-dropping display of aerobatics each evening at 7:40 p.m.

“Being in the cockpit is better than any thrill ride you can imagine,” says McLeod, who first rode in a plane at six weeks old with his pilot father. 

“You have a kind of freedom where you aren’t constrained whatsoever. When you include the precision required and perform as close to the water as I do at an event like the Honda Celebration of Light, there is absolutely zero margin for error. The danger level is real.”

McLeod performs all around the world but says that the Honda Celebration of Light is the highlight of his Canadian schedule.

The air show will consist of free-fall dives, flips, spins, and flying at top speeds just above the water of English Bay.

Attendees can reserve a seat with exclusive VIP and family-friendly viewing options at either Scotiabank Lounge, Inukshuk Point and the Concord Pacific Grandstand through the event's website. There are also VIP private cabanas and larger group-hosting patio spaces available to rent for those interested in hosting private groups with the best views of the barges.