Celebration of Light kicks off with spectacular show from team Netherlands
Hundreds of thousands of spectators took in fireworks from English Bay
The team from the Netherlands was the first to thrill onlookers at the Honda Celebration of Light, which will see up to 500,000 people squeeze into Vancouver's West End each night for three separate fireworks shows.
It's the 26th year of the popular event which began Saturday at 10 p.m. PT.
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Police estimated the crowd was smaller than in other years, with up to 300,000 people finding a spot either on the beach or on vessels in English Bay to watch the show.
.<a href="https://twitter.com/VancouverPD">@VancouverPD</a> say few arrests for minor incidents at <a href="https://twitter.com/CelebOfLight">@CelebOfLight</a> tonight. No major incidents reported. <a href="https://t.co/To0u0fq27a">pic.twitter.com/To0u0fq27a</a>—@gpsmendoza
.<a href="https://twitter.com/VictoriaJRCC">@VictoriaJRCC</a> said 3 people were rescued from the water in English Bay about half an hour ago, trying to get back into one of their boats—@gpsmendoza
Estimate for crowd between 250,000-300,000. 200 liquor pour-outs and few lost children - now all accounted for. <a href="https://t.co/n8TInvq9cL">pic.twitter.com/n8TInvq9cL</a>—@KamilKaramali
Hundreds of police officers worked the event to keep people safe and there were about 200 pour-outs of alcohol and a few lost children who were all eventually reunited with their families, said VPD.
Police urged those heading to the fireworks to use transit and to allow extra time to reach the viewing areas. TransLink says it will have additional buses and trains to accommodate the event.
Davie Street, Denman Street and Beach Avenue, which were closed for the event, reopened once crowds have dispersed at approximately 11:30 p.m. PT.
Vancouver city officials asked people to pack up their garbage before they left the area, saying previous fireworks shows have left too much waste on the ground.
A friendly reminder to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KeepVancouverClean?src=hash">#KeepVancouverClean</a>. Pick up your garbage, recycle & contribute to Vancouvers greenest city initiative! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GreenestCity?src=hash">#GreenestCity</a>—@CelebOfLight
The next fireworks show as part of the festival will be on July 27, when Australia will light up the sky. The U.S. team will go on the final night on July 30.