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Vancouver Fireworks Festival Gets Three New Contestants

Vietnam, Brazil and Italy will be the three countries competing in this year’s Celebration of Light fireworks display, which will be held July 28, Aug. 1 and Aug 4.

“This will be the 22nd year of the festival, which is one of the most loved events in B.C.,” said John Reynolds, chairman of the Vancouver Fireworks Festival Society, as he announced the timetable Wednesday near the Inukshuk on Beach Avenue.

He said Vietnam’s July 28 pyrotechnic display would be the first time the Asian country had staged a fireworks event outside of its borders.

“It will be a landmark event for them,” said Reynolds.

In the recent past the annual fireworks show — said by organizers to be the largest offshore fireworks display in the world — has teetered on the edge of collapse because it has been difficult to find sponsors.

However, this year’s title sponsor is Honda Canada, which has stepped into the breach for three years.

Executive vice-president Jerry Chenkin said Honda Canada was happy to sponsor an event, which is such a “brilliant part of Vancouver’s summer season.”

The fireworks festival routinely attracts enormous crowds who line the English Bay shoreline in Kitsilano and across the bay in and around Stanley Park. It also attracts hundreds of boaters who anchor out in English Bay for a ringside seat.

This year’s festival will once again feature the Red Bull Airshow, a prelude of aerial acrobatics just before dark.

Over the three days the Celebration of Light will likely be watched by more than one million people.

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