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Everything you need to know about the Celebration of Light fireworks nights

Light up the sky like it's the Honda Celebration of Light💥🎉
Celebration of Light fireworks nights are happening July 23, 27 and 30, 2022 at English Bay in Vancouver. Expect transit changes and road closures plus fun activities and performances.

Canada Day fireworks seemed not too long ago, but Vancouver can't get enough of the loud and sparkly performances. 

The night is still young and bright with the upcoming Honda Celebration of Light, but because many Vancouverites will want to see the fireworks up close, those wanting to do the same may want to plan ahead. 

English Bay will light up with fireworks near the end of the month on July 23, 27 and 30. 

Here's what to expect on those three nights for a good time and smooth commute. 

Getting there: Road closures, taking public transit

Transiting there won't be much of a hassle, but alternate routes and closures are to be expected.

Commuters in English Bay should be wary of the partial road closure and bike lane detour along Beach Avenue starting at 9 a.m. each day of the event. There will also be restricted vehicle access for non-residents of the West End from 7 p.m. onward daily. 

There will be various road closures on the day of the event in the West End and Kitsilano:

From 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Beach Avenue from Pacific to Davie Street will be closed with periodic traffic control for event load-in.

From 7 p.m. to midnight there will be several road closures including:

  • Davie Street from Denman to Burrard Street
  • Denman Street from Alberni to Beach Avenue
  • Beach Avenue/Pacific Street from Stanley Park to Thurlow Street

Local residents in the West End can enter via Burnaby Street or Denman Street at West Georgia and exit via Denman Street at West Georgia, Nelson, Thurlow or Burnaby Street.

In Kitsilano, local access will only be available for North of Cornwall Street from Arbutus to Chestnut Street.

TransLink is also adding extra public transit service for the three firework nights. Here's what to expect: 

  • SkyTrain will be operating on peak service levels with trains every two to three minutes leading up to and following the fireworks.
    • Bikes will not be permitted on SkyTrain after 10:30 p.m. Passengers can board with bikes again after the crowds clear.
    • Some downtown SkyTrain stations will have modified access to entrances to keep crowds moving smoothly. 
  • SeaBus sailings will extend to 15 minute service from 9:15-11:15 p.m.
  • Extra bus service will be in place to meet demand in various locations, particularly in downtown Vancouver. Routes 2,5,6 and 23 will be rerouted due to street closures. 
  • West Coast Express will operate a special train on Saturday, July 30.
    • The train will leave Mission at 7 p.m., arriving at Waterfront at 8:15 p.m.
    • The return train begins boarding at Waterfront at 11 p.m. and departs at midnight.

There will also be extra Transit Police and Transit Security to help commuters get to and from the fireworks safely.

For those wanting to cycle to the event, Mobi is adding docking capacity in English Bay at the Bidwell and Burnaby station and on the day of the event staff will be helping end rides at busy stations in both English Bay and Kitsilano.

At the Celebration of Light: Special events, VIP seating

Though the fireworks are the main attraction, there will also be plenty of activities leading up to the dazzling display. 

During the day and up until the fireworks, the Morton Park Festival Zone will serve as the festival hub and is open to all ages and families from 2 to 8 p.m. There will be live music, food trucks and vendors. 

Taking the skies are also the Red Bull Air Show and Canadian Snowbird team. The first is a pre-show sky performance happening on all three nights while the Canadian Snowbirds, the military aerobatics flight demonstration team of the Royal Canadian Air Force, will only fly on the second night, July 27.

On July 27 the Canadian Snowbird team will fly at 6 p.m. and the Red Bull Air Show will fly at 7:40 p.m.

The fireworks will begin at 10 p.m. each night and music simulcast can be heard on The Breeze 104.3 FM and Z 95.3 FM.

Those wanting to get a good spot can also find VIP seats at the Scotiabank Lounge, Concord Lounge at the Inukshuk, and the English Bay Grandstand. 

But those planning on picnicking prior to the fireworks should note that no open flame barbeques will be allowed in English Bay Beach Park between 2100 Beach Avenue to Bidwell Street during the event. 

Celebration of Light 2022 show schedule

July 23 - Akariya Fireworks, Japan

Akariya Fireworks took home first place in both 2014 and 2017 Honda Celebration of Light. The team strives for absolute safety as much as the best performance, using quality control of products and tools, new technology, environmental protection, and employee training to manage the safety of their fireworks show. 

July 27 - Midnight Sun Fireworks, Canada 
Midnight Sun Fireworks is an award-winning team of Yukon pyrotechnicians that are passionate about creating unique shows to bring life to the music in their soundtracks. Their playful displays are full of surprises and creative expression.

July 30 - Pirotecnia Zaragozana, Spain
Founded in 1860, Pirotecnia Zaragozana is one of the most awarded companies in Spain. Tradition combined with constant innovation have made Pirotecnia Zaragozana synonymous with prestigious, safe, and quality shows.

The winning team will be announced on August 2.