July 29, 2018 1:28 pm
Updated: July 29, 2018 3:28 pm

Thousands pack Vancouver’s beaches for first night of Celebration of Light

Watch BC1's coverage of South Africa's fireworks display, which kicked off the 28th annual Honda Celebration of Light festival in Vancouver on Saturday, July 28.

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It was a night of “love” and celebration as South Africa kicked off the annual Honda Celebration of Light fireworks festival in Vancouver Saturday.

Around 400,000 people descended on beaches in the West End and Kitsilano to take in the sights and sounds, with dozens more watching the action from the waters of English Bay.

The theme of the 28th iteration of the festival was “love,” with South Africa’s 25-minute show set to various upbeat love songs.

WATCH BELOW: Highlights from South Africa’s fireworks show for the Honda Celebration of Light

READ MORE: What you need to know if you’re heading to the Celebration of Light

Vancouver police said there were a few minor incidents they had to deal with during and after the show, but overall they’re calling the event a huge success.

“We had a number of breaches of the peace, causing a disturbance, so those are like a grown-up time-out,” Cst. Jason Doucette said, adding the most serious incident was the attempted theft of a backpack that officers were able to quickly stop.

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“We had about a hundred pour-outs of alcohol, which is fairly standard for an event of this size,” he added. “As far as smoking goes, people seemed to be policing each other. [We’d] spot a couple of people and before [we] got there, their neighbour would nudge them, they’d put it out and everyone was happy.”

They also say people were mostly good about cleaning up after themselves, with dozens of spectators helping park crews pick up garbage and debris to help keep the beaches pristine.

Sweden’s fireworks team will follow with their own show on Wednesday, followed by South Korea wrapping up the festival next Saturday.

Take a look at some of the reactions of people on social media to the fireworks, along with pictures and video:

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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