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Celebration of Light fireworks: Team USA prepares for Saturday

Vancouver's 24th annual Celebration of Light kicks off this Saturday with team USA, followed by France (Wed. July 30) and Japan (Sat. Aug 2).

Pyrotechnician Michael J. Fox (not the actor) gives the CBC a sneak preview from the barge

Pyrotechnician Michael J. Fox (not the actor) helps team USA prepare for Saturday's Celebration of Light. (Jason D'Souza/CBC)

Team USA is busy preparing for the first fireworks event of Vancouver's 24th annual Celebration of Light.

The Americans kick off the competition this Saturday at 10 p.m. PT, followed by France (Wed. July 30) and Japan (Sat. Aug 2).

Pyrotechnician Michael J. Fox (not the actor) spoke to the CBC's Jason D'Souza about the preparations from the barge in English Bay.

Hundreds of thousands are expected to come out to English Bay and surrounding shores to watch the 2014 Celebration of Light. The fireworks begin at 10 p.m. on July 26, with a 25-minute show from Team USA.

"It's kind of like television. About an hour a minute," Fox said.

"So it would take you about an hour to script a minute or less. It's because you're dealing with multiple positions.

"You've got 10 positions on this barge. So you have to make sure everything does what it's supposed to do. Actually, something like this probably takes more like two hours a minute."

With a 25-minute show, that means it takes about 50 hours just to script a show.

Road closures in effect, extra transit on tap

The City of Vancouver reminds viewers that roads will be closed to motor vehicles on show nights.

Kits Point will be closed at 6:30 p.m. PT. Roads in the West End — including Davie Street, Denman Street and Beach Avenue — will be closed at 7:30 p.m. PT.

Only residents with parking decals for the neighbourhood or with vehicle registration displaying a neighbourhood address will be allowed access.

Festival organizers say the streets will re-open to regular traffic once the crowds have dispersed, which is expected to be some time after 11 p.m.

TransLink will have additional and extended public transit service before and after the fireworks.

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with files from Jason D'Souza

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