Review of the Celebration of Light
By Aidan Mouellic, Firework Critic
The Honda Celebration of Light rolled into town last week with Canada lighting up the sky with bursts of fire on July 31. The annual fireworks festival was well-received by spectators who came down to party and the handful of genuine fireworks fans who were there to marvel in the nuances of a proper pyrotechnics display.
The party atmosphere was alive and well with a satisfactory amount of drunkards and potheads around to create that unique Celebration of Light atmosphere. The fireworks themselves were neat. You had your typical bright flashes of random colours and streaks of bright light that were loosely synchronized to music that no one could hear. The organizers also managed to surpass this year’s goal of burning money faster than the previous year.
For a more detailed analysis of the show, I reached out to Geoff Peak, head of the Vancouver Fireworks Appreciation club. The club itself has a membership of over 25 individuals who take their love of fireworks to the next level. Our interview started with Peak discussing the molecular construction of pyrotechnic combustibles for over 20 minutes, though I spent many of those moments zoned out due to overwhelming boredom. Perhaps if I had cared about the subject, I might be able to remember the reasons why those fireworks look like Sideshow Bob’s hair. I think it has to do with the chemical makeup of the accelerants used in the projectiles.
Peak and his group of obsessives were impressed with the show, but were not without criticisms: “The height of the Bengal Flare Barrage could have been at least 25 feet higher to achieve the desirable effect of colour saturation in the night sky. The ambiance of the show would have been better if the Pyrotechnicians had used more low noise and maroon fireworks to set a more ‘romantic’ mood.”
Overall, the Vancouver Fireworks Appreciation club rated the show a five out of ten. Though this may seem low, the highest score the group has ever awarded was a three out of ten. Peak was impressed with Canada’s effort but felt that some “Technical aspects that could have pushed the light show towards perfection were lacking.” What these aspects are I’m not too sure since I only understood a quarter of what the group members were saying.
However, the average person on the street seemed impressed with the display. Rachel Riley, a Coquitlam resident said “The fireworks were amazing, I had so much fun last night. But now I’m hungover and can’t remember where these bruises came from or where I slept last night.”
Fred Archer, a Port Coquitlam resident, likely summed up most peoples’ impression of the show: “I had fun last night, but I didn’t go for fireworks. Sure, they go boom and look cool but I go for the party.”