English Bay Summer Fireworks

The Celebration of Light festival features live music and a world-class fireworks competition with pyrotechnic displays by a different country each night.
IThe fireworks blast off at 10:00 pm each night, but there is also live music and other fun stuff starting in the early afternoon on all three days.
Each year the fireworks take off from the water by English Bay Beach. The main daytime festivities, however, are at the festival’s relatively new location at Second Beach in Stanley Park.
Honda Celebration of Light in 2019
The Honda Celebration of Light event is amazing every year, attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators on each of the three days. Music accompanies the pyrotechnics, and people can tune in from anywhere by listening to LG 104.3 FM on their radios.
In 2019 the Honda Celebration of Light fireworks are on Saturday, July 27th, Wednesday, July 31st, and Saturday, August 3rd. This year’s competitors are the following:
July 27th (2019) – Amir Morani Fireworks (India)
July 31st (2019) – Firemaster Productions Inc. (Canada)
August 3rd (2019) – Mironvec Fireworks (Croatia)
Last year’s competitors were from South Africa, Sweden and South Korea. In 2018 the winning fireworks company was Dadhan Firework Co. from South Korea.
Celebration of Light Entertainment
In the lead up to the 10 o’clock fireworks, the Celebration of Light event includes lots of great entertainment. There is a Family Zone at Second Beach, evening airshows at English Bay, and outdoor concerts at various times at both venues.
Depending on where you go, there are also food trucks, exhibits and the occasional street performer or caricature artist. Around English Bay Beach especially, there are also gazillions of people on land and boats in the water.
Second Beach Family Zone
Each day of the fireworks festival there are family-friendly things to do at Second Beach starting at 2 o’clock each afternoon and running until 9 pm. Activities include face painting, games, jumping in the bouncy castle and listening to live music. At the Second Beach venue there are adult-friendly things too. The live music is good for all ages – they aren’t just little kid tunes – it’s real music with some great local bands!
For concert details near the Family Zone area click Second Beach Concerts.
English Bay Airshows
A tradition at the Celebration of Light event, prior to the fireworks, is the Pete McLeod Airshow which features aerial acrobatics above the waters of English Bay.
It’s usually just a single plane, but fun to watch and visible from Sunset Beach to Second Beach and beyond. The best place to watch from though is English Bay Beach as that’s at the centre of the show. The airshow usually starts shortly before sunset, which itself can be a spectacular event to see. On the Saturday evenings (i.e., likely July 27th and August 3rd) the airplane entertains for about 15 minutes starting at around 7:45 pm. 2019 details are to be confirmed.
On the Wednesday evening in 2018 the airshow ran from 6:45 until 7:40 pm and included multiple aircraft. Special for 2018, on that day, was a performance by the world-famous Canadian Forces Snowbirds.
That indeed was a spectacular show to see! Hopefully there will be something similar in 2019.
Fireworks Concerts
In addition to music broadcast on radio to accompany the fireworks, live bands perform in the afternoons and evenings. The concerts used to take place at Sunset Beach and English Bay Beach, but since last year much of the fun is in Stanley Park near Second Beach. Each day there is a variety of bands, with a special feature performance leading up to the fireworks each evening.
See below for the lineup of concerts at both Second Beach and English Bay Beach.
2019 Concerts at Second Beach
Here is the lineup for the 2019 Second Beach concerts:
Virginia to Vegas, with Derik Baker who is a 2018 Juno-nominated Breakthrough Artist of the Year
The Boom Booms, a Funk and Soulful Vancouver-based band
The Funk Hunters, a Canadian DJ duo that has reached Billboard Dance Club Chart #1
En Karma, a Canadian Bhangra band
Tonye Aganaba, a multifaceted and charismatic singer
Quarterback, with Quinn Bates
Alexandria Maillot, an up-and-coming coming Canadian artist
Small Town Artillery, a Rock band from British Columbia
Kimmortal, a queer Canadian artist
Adrian Chalifour, a Canadian rock artist
Biawanna, a multi-instrumental artist who is releasing a debut EP
Bitterly Divine, a Rock band that is Vancouver-based
Old Soul Rebel, a female Rock and Roll duo inspired by their respective African American and First Nations upbringings
Shine with Pride (Curated by the Vancouver Pride Society), a mix of pride anthems by DJ Krista
Big Easy Funk Ensemble, a band that mixes Jazz and Funk
Fintan, an English pop singer/songwriter with a new EP

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