VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – With the 2012 Honda Celebration of Light kicking off tonight, it’ll be a busy day for TransLink.

You can expect more trains added to tonight’s schedule, but the closing time will remain the same as on any other Saturday.

“SkyTrain will have rush hour levels of service on all three of the fireworks nights, so we’ll have lots of extra trains to move people into town and get people out of town,” TransLink’s Drew Snider explains.

As always, there will be thousands of people using transit to get to English Bay ahead of the 10 p.m. start. After the show, Snider says there are ways to avoid big line-ups.

“We highly recommend people pre-purchase their tickets for the trip back. We’ve got portable fare boxes set up at a number of stations.”

Remember bikes aren’t allowed on SkyTrain during the fireworks. Also, be prepared to walk a few blocks to get to the beach from the station.

If you’re planning on taking the bus, check the schedule ahead of time as West End bus routes won’t be running on their regular routes due to road closures.

Also, for those planning to use the SeaBus, three vessels are scheduled all weekend because of the 25th Annual Caribbean Days Festival in North Vancouver.

Changes coming to this year’s festival

Expect some changes if you’re heading down to English Bay for tonight’s Celebration of Light.

Producer Patrick Brault says this year, the two barges are a lot bigger and more stable.

“Instead of being anchored, we’re piled. You’ll see behind the barges, there are four big, three-feet in diameter tubes that are sunk in the seabed and we’re attached to that,” Brault explains.

Those 60-foot long tubes should allow for a smoother show, and the extra width will make for a broader area to shoot the 60-tons of fireworks.

Brault adds the barges are also safer for everyone on shore.
“Now we have a 12-foot high retaining wall on the front so if anything tips over or there’s an explosion on the barge, then the wall retains all those effects.”

Tonight, Vietnam will take to the sky. This is the first time Vietnam is competing outside their country, and Brault says they are bringing with them a few new tricks.

“I’d like to keep it a surprise, but there is a nice aquatic-effect that they are coming in with that we haven’t seen yet.”

The other countries competing in this year’s festival are Brazil (August 1) and Italy (August 4).