Anointing the Night with Fireworks and Waterworks

Chrysanthemum fireworks. Feb. 14, 2010. Photo by J. Becker
Chrysanthemum fireworks. Feb. 14, 2010. Photo by J. Becker

Surely for every Olympics, the nightly free fireworks were rare times for unbridled photo shooting. Instead of packing ourselves with over 7,000 other people  for earlier, free concerts at David Lam Park, we staked ourselves along the waterfront Seaside Path

Fireworks over permanent metal art sculpture, 'Brush with Illumination' by B. Simpson. Represents a calligraphy brush, suspended over the 'inkwell' of False Creek. Vancouver, BC. Feb. 14, 2010.
Fireworks over permanent metal art sculpture, ‘Brush with Illumination’ by B. Simpson. Represents a calligraphy brush, suspended over the ‘inkwell’ of False Creek. Vancouver, BC. Feb. 14, 2010. Photo by J. Chong

for the light and water show.

One clear night, we all waited for the grand show.  Meanwhile there were ambulances without sirens on, cruising around  or idling by the road with groups of chatting police. Finally we were told the fireworks show was cancelled that evening.  Earlier thousands of people flooded the streets abit lost,  after the nearby concert was also cancelled.

Within the next hour at home,  we discovered at the newspaper web site for the Vancouver Sun, and minutes later on tv, there was a crowd accident where a mesh wire barricade fell forward after a rush by people to the stage when the music band performers started to play. Over 20 people were injured and taken to the hospital.

Yellow palm trees fireworks. Feb. 17, 2010. Photo by J. Becker
Yellow palm trees fireworks. Feb. 17, 2010. Photo by J. Becker

There was a general fireworks show pattern which kicked off with an early fiery shot into the night sky a few minutes in advance, to alert the patient crowds, concert spectators and performing concert group. Then the fireworks –in  two adjacent, night sky display areas, unleashed their thunderous explosive magic. The larger show boomed out over the open False Creek waters from a barge while the other show seemed to shoot off closer to the waterfront area barricaded off from people.

Towards the finale,  water fountain geysers and jets then shot up, illuminated by floodlights and coloured fireworks. Photos of a medalled athlete would shine one by one for each distant frame, dim and dream-like through the misty spray curtain. The crowds loved this part too.

Olympic snowboarder image backlit in water spray mist. Vancouver, BC. Feb. 18, 2010.
Olympic snowboarder image backlit in water spray mist. Vancouver, BC. Feb. 18, 2010. Photo by J. Chong

A thunderous finish for almost every Olympic night of light, mist and dreams.

 

Interesting Reading:
Steil, John et al. Public Art in Vancouver: Angels among Lions. Surrey, BC: Touchwood Editions, 2009. Over 500 public works of art in City of Vancouver, are featured in this book.

Woo, Andrea. “Twenty people injured as Crowd Topples Fence at Yaletown Livecity.”  In Vancouver Sun, Feb. 17, 2010.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. I love your blog and the pictures are so beautiful, one can almost hear the crowd cheering after each fireworks display explodes in the night sky! Great writing too!

    Like

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