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VPD, other first responders gear up for Celebration of Light

Last Updated Jul 28, 2017 at 3:17 pm PDT

Celebration of Light fireworks in 2015. (NEWS 1130 File Photo)

Hundreds of thousands of people expected to pack the West End to watch the show

Police reminding people to leave the liquor at home

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Let’s hope the fireworks is limited to the sky this weekend.

The first night of the Celebration of Light takes place this Saturday night and, as usual, it’ll keep police on the ground, on bikes and on the water, very busy.

Vancouver Police Sergeant Jason Robillard isn’t going into exact details about how they plan to deal with the situation but he explains they’ll have a large presence.

“That’s all part of our operations plan and it would be counterproductive to get into the specifics about that plan,” explains Robillard. “But we do work with a lot of our partners, and not just Transit Police, we have our BC Ambulance Services, the Vancouver Fire Department and we all have a role to play in making sure that this is a safe event for everybody.”

He adds people should leave their booze at home no matter where you’re taking in the festivities.

“As well with the dry weather we’ll be looking at smoking and smoking is prohibited in all our parks and our beaches, so we want to remind the public to butt out.”

Robillard says they’ll be focusing efforts on the entertainment district as well as the usual areas people watch the fireworks. “We have officers from our Mounted Unit, Marine Unit, our Public Safety Unit, bike officers, community safety — we’re all going to be monitoring the crowds and watercraft.”

The event used to be hassle for police to deal with, however, in recent years things have calmed down and it’s increasingly become a family-friendly event.

Meanwhile, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is reminding you to stay safe on the waters, especially if you plan to view the fireworks by boat.

Make sure you follow marine traffic safety restrictions and exclusion areas, and be prepared for boating at night.

Being in the dark could make seeing what’s around you more difficult, so ensure you have the proper lighting and equipment if you’re out on the water when it’s dark.

If you're watching the fireworks from the water, be sure to stay well away from the barge!

Transit Police are also urging you to stay safe, by not drinking in public, planning ahead, being alert and being familiar with safety features throughout the transit system. You can find all you need to know about a safe ride here.

Canada is among this year’s competitors. Learn more about this year’s event by clicking here.