VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The Celebration of Light kicked off last night for another year. The Netherlands thrilled between 250,000 to 300,000 people on the shores of English Bay and, for the most part, people were well behaved.
Vancouver Police Constable Brian Montague says they had the usual couple hundred liquor pour-outs and he insists the crowd has really changed in the last five years.
“Prior to that we did have some fairly serious incidents after the fireworks occurred. We’ve made some changes as to how we manage the crowd — a lot of that came about because of the Stanley Cup Riot and we’ve had some great success. We have very few incidents. We are drawing more of a family-oriented crowd, lots of kids out there, and people feel safe while attending.”
He adds police expect a relatively problem-free event for the remaining two nights of the competition. “We expect the crowd sizes to be a little bit bigger on the Wednesday and then, of course, the final Saturday we expect a fairly large crowd. We’ve got plans in place to make sure those crowds get to and from the event safely.”
Montague adds if anyone in the crowd has concerns they can always let a nearby officer know, there are extra resources in place patrolling the beach and surrounding area. “We encourage families to come down and we continue to discourage those that may get intoxicated or come down to cause problems from attending at all. And, for the most part, we are pretty good at identifying those individuals very quickly and removing them from the area.”
Australia is set to dazzle the crowd on Wednesday and the US will have a Disney-themed show next Saturday.