cruise ship serenade of the seas
As we approached the Lions Gate Bridge we noticed, in the harbour east of the bridge, a huge cruise ship about to pass under the bridge heading west - probably cruising to Alaska. We turned off at the Prospect Point exit to see if we could get a photo of the ship as it went through Lions Gate. Prospect Point was full of people waving to departing passengers but we did manage to get a parking spot and we were also able to get a few photos of the ship "Serenade of the Seas" - one of three cruise ships leaving the harbour at the same time probably taking advantage of low tide that allowed them to clear the bridge and the sea bottom.
We drove fom Prospect Point to Second Beach and checked into our hotel without any problems - until the manager said "if you go out in your car tonight, the police probably wont let you back into the area" When we asked "why?" he said "aren't you here for the fireworks?" we said "what fireworks?" He explained that Saturday night was the last day of Vancouver's "Symphony of Fire" in which a number of countries presented fireworks displays in tme to music.
Tonight's presenter, the United States, was expected to be the largest and the most varied show of all.
We couldn't believe our luck. The event was to take place only 1/2 block from the front door of our hotel. The crowd was already beginning to form as people moved onto the beach to secure a place before 10:00pm when the program started and the audience would swell to tens of thousands.
Just before 10:00pm we went out on Denman Street, the weather was warm and comfortable. A Capoeira group was playing Brazilian music and dancing on the corner of Denman and Pendrell so we watched for a while. We went up to Nat's New York Pizzeria and bought a few slices then passed through the cordon of the Vancouver Police Crowd Control Unit to Second Beach.
Symphony of Fire, Vancouver, BC, July 26, 2008
A few years before, the Fireworks Festival had been threatened because of crowd problems - alcohol and violence - and because governments had banned sponsorship of events by tobacco companies but those problems seem to have been resolved. The audience was mostly young adults but there were also families with children. The show started on time and continued for about an hour. It was impressive
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