Every summer, the skies above English Bay in Vancouver, BC, light up with some of the best fireworks displays you've ever seen! These summer Vancouver fireworks are courtesy of the free, annual Celebration of Light International Fireworks Competition, a showcase for the world's best fireworks pyrotechnicians and designers.
For 2013, the Celebration of Light presents three nights of Vancouver fireworks on Saturday, July 27, Wednesday, July 31, & Saturday, August 3, 2013. All shows begin at 10pm.
Use this list to find the best vantage points for watching the Vancouver fireworks this summer!
Arguably the best place to watch Celebration of Light Vancouver fireworks is English Bay Beach. The view of the fireworks from here is intimate and immediate, and thousands gather at this spot for exactly that reason. To accommodate the crowds, there are food vendors and park restrooms.
Be aware: this is the most crowded spot to watch the Vancouver fireworks. Families with kids should get there very early to stake a spot on the beach. Latecomers may find themselves pushed and prodded by aggressive viewers. And don't even try to drive! Be prepared to walk to the bus, SkyTrain or Canada Line.
Want the view but don't want to fight the crowds? Buy tickets for bleacher seating at English Bay Beach (named the "YVR Observation Deck") here.
2. Vanier Park
Another spot with a close-up view of the Celebration of Light Vancouver fireworks is Vanier Park, situated across the bay from English Bay Beach. Vanier Park is famous as the home of the Museum of Vancouver and H.R. MacMillan Space Centre; during the summer months, it's also home to the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival.
Like English Bay Beach, Vanier Park is very crowded on Vancouver fireworks nights; go early for the best spots. Roads will be closed, so use transit!
Want the view but don't want to fight the crowds? Try Bard on the Beach's ticketed Bard-B-Q & Fireworks.
If the crowds of thousands at English Bay Beach are too much for you, walk past English Bay Beach and head into Stanley Park. Any point along the Stanley Park Seawall facing English Bay will provide a great viewing point for the Vancouver fireworks!
5. Burrard Bridge
For a "bare bones" Vancouver fireworks viewing experience--that is, no beach, no concession stands, no bathrooms--you can watch from the pedestrian walkways of the Burrard Bridge.
People do watch from the Burrard Bridge, so do expect some competition for the best (centre) "spots."
You can also see the Vancouver fireworks from the Granville Bridge, though they will be "smaller" and farther away. Still, if you want to avoid crowds, the Granville Bridge can be an option.
6. Dundarave Pier in West Vancouver
You don't have to be in Vancouver to watch the Celebration of Light Vancouver fireworks. West Vancouver's Dundarave Pier is another famous viewing point, one that's great for families with small kids.
Want dinner with the view? You can see the Vancouver fireworks from the patio of the Beach House at Dundarave Pier, but you must book early; reservations fill up a month in advance!
7. Boats on English Bay
Watching the Vancouver fireworks in a boat on English Bay is ideal, but not everyone has access to their own (or a friend's) boat. Luckily, many Vancouver boat companies offer fireworks-viewing packages.
Watch the Celebration of Light Vancouver fireworks at sea: