The skies above Vancouver’s English Bay will be lit up with fireworks one last time this summer as the Honda Celebration of Light wraps up Saturday.
Croatia will be the star of the festival’s final night starting at 10 p.m., following an afternoon of music, food and other pre-show entertainment at a variety of locations around the bay.
The finale comes after India’s spectacular opening show on July 27, which was followed by Canada’s own display on Wednesday.
More than 400,000 people are again expected to descend on English Bay, Second Beach and Vanier Park to take in the festival, now in its 29th year.
WATCH: (Aired July 29, 2018) Honda Celebration of Light festival kicks off in Vancouver
With so many people coming to check out the show, the Vancouver Parks Board and Vancouver police are urging people to plan ahead and stay safe among the large crowds.
You can catch the full fireworks show right here, where we will livestream BC1’s coverage.
But if you’re looking to brave the crowds and head down to the beach, here’s what you need to know.
Where to watch
Popular viewing points for the fireworks include English Bay, Second Beach, Sunset Beach, Vanier Park and Kits Beach.
The festival has set up a licensed, free, all-ages stage area at Second Beach with performances and food trucks before the fireworks.
A Honda Zone has also been set up at Davie and Denman with games, prizes and other features.
People who want a guaranteed good view, along with food, drinks and a readily accessible washroom, can buy VIP tickets for one of three viewing sites.
More information about the best places to watch the show can be found here.
Luckily for those wanting to watch the fireworks from the water, Kits Beach was recently reopened after high levels of E. coli bacteria closed the beach to swimming last weekend.
Safety and security
Fireworks attendees are being reminded to be on their best behaviour, and police will be on hand to ensure security.
TransLink is also adding extra transit police to the beat on Wednesday evening.
Alcohol is strictly banned at the event, and smoking is banned at all Vancouver beaches.
WATCH: (Aired July 29, 2018) South Africa lights up the sky for Celebration of Light
There will be recycling and trash bins on site, but attendees are being asked to be smart with their waste and pack out what they pack in to avoid overwhelming the available bins.
Boaters are reminded to follow safe boating guidelines and keep their licence on their person at all times. Alcohol is also prohibited on the water.
TransLink has beefed up its service levels for the event, with extra trains running on Canada Line, Expo Line and Millennium SkyTrain lines.
The last train for all three lines will leave Waterfront Station at 1:15 a.m. Bikes will not be permitted on SkyTrain after 10:30 p.m. until crowds clear.
TransLink is also adding extra buses to the road, with shuttle bus service to English Bay from Burrard Station starting at 7 p.m. and from Yaletown Station at 6:45 p.m.
Return shuttles will be available from the area to those same SkyTrain stations after the fireworks end.
There are also bus detours in place for some West End routes, which you can see here.
The SeaBus will run every 15 minutes until 12:30 a.m., and every half hour after that until the last sailing at 1:22 a.m.
On Saturday, the WestCoast Express will depart Mission at 7 p.m. and arrive at Waterfront Station at 8:15 p.m. A return train will depart Vancouver at midnight.
Pedestrians are also being urged to use the following routes to exit the festival after the fireworks end:
- Guilford Street from Davie Street to Alberni Street
- Burnaby Street from Denman Street to Burrard Street
- Pacific Street from Denman Street to Burrard Street
Biking down to the West End or Kitsilano is also being encouraged.
Biked valets will be operating at Second Beach starting at 3 p.m. on each night of the fireworks, and at Sunset Beach starting at 4 p.m. on July 31 and Aug. 3.
Several bike lockups will also be available at Vanier Park and Kits Beach.
Road closures and parking
Parking in the West End on Saturday night will be restricted to residents who have either a local parking permit or vehicle registration that shows a neighbourhood address.
There are also multiple road closures in effect:
- Davie Street, from Denman to Burrard Street — 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. (full closure)
- Denman Street, from Alberni Street to Beach Avenue — 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. (full closure)
- Beach Avenue, from Pacific Street to Stanley Park — 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. (full closure)
- Beach Avenue, from Pacific Street to Davie Street — 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. (westbound closure)
- Beach Avenue, from Davie to Broughton — 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. (eastbound closure)
- Cornwall Street, from Arbutus to Chestnut Street — 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. (local traffic only)