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Competitors announced for this summer's Celebration of Light fireworks festival

Thousands attend Vancouver fireworks show

Three competitors have been announced for this year's Honda Celebration of Light fireworks festival, which is expected to draw thousands of people to Vancouver's English Bay this summer.

The competition kicks off on Saturday, July 20, with a show from Portugal. Malaysia will perform next, on Wednesday, July 24. The competition wraps up on Saturday, July 27, with the United Kingdom.

"The annual Honda Celebration of Light is more than just a fireworks display – it’s a tradition that has illuminated Vancouver's skies for decades," Mayor Ken Sim said in a statement. "We are thrilled to welcome spectators from around the globe for this vibrant celebration of art, culture, and community."

This year's event will also include a drone firework display before each night's featured performance.

"We are thrilled to once again have this spectacular festival and fireworks extravaganza in Vancouver! This hugely popular event draws visitors worldwide and is a prime example of the world-class entertainment B.C. has to offer," said B.C. Tourism Minister Lana Popham said in a statement.

The participating countries were announced in a news release Wednesday morning, instead of at a public event, which is usually held each spring. This year's news conference, which was supposed to be held last week, was cancelled out of respect for communities facing wildfires. 

Last summer, in spite of a provincewide fire ban and devastating wildfire season, the Honda Celebration of Light went ahead in Vancouver's English Bay.

Capt. Matthew Trudeau, Vancouver Fire Rescue Services public information officer, said at the time the difference between the event and the fire activities of the general public is like comparing apples with oranges.

"There's a huge differentiation between those two things," Trudeau told CTV News Vancouver last summer.

"We have trained pyro technicians who have been in the industry for decades, lighting fireworks in the middle of a body of water, supported by a fully complemented fire department and the rest of our partnership agencies."

Fire boats and fire trucks were deployed to the area on festival nights and Trudeau said he'd never heard of anything igniting in the festival's 31-year history.

"There are hundreds of thousands of people with eyes and ears covering this area," Trudeau explained.

According to event organizers, the Celebration of Light is the longest-running offshore fireworks competition in the world.

With files from CTV News Vancouver's Becca Clarkson Top Stories

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