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Summer Fireworks Etiquette

You’ve spent a lot of time scoping out an ideal location, planning the perfect picnic, packing your beach essentials and setting up for the perfect night of fireworks with your crew. The last thing you want is for it to be ruined by other firework enthusiasts who are completely unaware that their game of volleyball is displacing half of Second Beach onto your Tofino Towel! Here, five ways you can get the most out of this year’s Honda Celebration of Light, happening July 28th, August 1st and August 4th in Vancouver! —Sunita Padda.

location, location, location.

There are multiple spots throughout Vancouver that will offer prime views of the fireworks this year, but select your location carefully. If you have young children or are opting for a more low-key atmosphere, perhaps consider having a picnic at Kitsilano Beach or Dundarave in West Vancouver. If you’re heading out with a group of friends afterward, English Bay may be as a more appropriate spot for your pre-party. This way, you’re more likely to be surrounded by individuals on the same page as you and you’ll be less likely to offend those around you.

plan ahead. Did you know there are restaurants and other venues around English Bay that offer reserved seating with a great view of the action? If you’re looking to eliminate uncertainty, visit the official website to save your spot in these prime viewing lounges. You can also find information on parking and other important topics on the Honda Celebration of Light site. If you plan to picnic at your spot beforehand, consider packing items that are (almost) mess-free, won’t take up too much space in your basket or backpack and leave minimal garbage for cleanup afterward. Finger foods such as veggie and turkey rollups, seared tofu pieces and harder (less likely to mush) fruits, such as apple slices or plums, are ideal choices. This way you won’t have to leave your (hopefully ideal) spot in search of a washroom to clean yourself up afterward.

be considerate. With tens of thousands of people attending each night of the festival, it’s important that everyone is mindful of one another as it’s the only way a large event like this can run smoothly. You may be on a mosquito-free streak this summer, but that doesn’t mean dousing the air with OFF! is a good idea. Be mindful of the fact that others are breathing in, or potentially eating, whatever you spray or smoke around you. Feel free to bring entertainment to the beach, be it (shareable) toys for kids or a beach ball—just be mindful of not letting these items annoy others as there’s something unsettling about constantly wondering if someone’s soccer ball is going to hit you! Furthermore, consider taking down your daytime volleyball or badminton net so that others can start to set up their spots for the show. If you plan to enjoy food from the numerous food vendors on site, be patient and considerate. The last thing needed in a big crowd is pushing and shoving. Take a scan to see if there are children, strollers, elderly or disabled people around you and act accordingly. Don’t forget to keep the beaches the same, or even better, than you found them. Show consideration and pick up after yourself so that others don’t have to.

kid stuff. Yes, it’s true that parents are only halfway through summer and are most likely completely exhausted from keeping the kids entertained but, parents, don’t let that distract you from keeping an eye on your kiddos in case they are screaming or stomping sand over someone else’s blankets. Although this is a family-friendly environment, consider that some may be looking for a more peaceful or romantic atmosphere. Also, don’t forget to bring earplugs or noise-blocking headphones for younger children who may be sensitive to the loud sounds of the fireworks.

put the phone down. Enjoy the atmosphere you are in and let yourself be carried away by the lights and music. Events such as these don’t happen often enough—don’t let them pass you by while you refresh your news feed!