2013 marked the 10 year anniversary for the ever popular GlobalFest. Displaying fireworks from across the globe, this international event is the next best thing after the Calgary Stampede. For 5 days in August, usually every 2nd day towards the end of August, countries show off their skills during a 20 minute firework extravaganza with music and sprakle to add to the magic.
It all began with the formation of The Calgary Fireworks Festival Society in 1993. Together with the International Avenue Arts and Culture Centre, who were looking to begin a multicultural festival based in the eastern part of Calgary around the same time, presented presentations and their ideas and decided the immense impact they would have partnering together for a festival of true cultural diversity celebration: GlobalFest
It took eight years for the not for profit Society to find a suitable area to launch fireworks before coming across Elliston Park in Calgary. In 2003, GlobalFest had its first run at Elliston Park. There were 10 cultural pavilions and 3 countries that were the first to participate in the pyromusical international firework festival. Being a hit with the locals (100,000 attendees in the first year) GlobalFest has expanded to include 24 pavilions, 14 ethnic food kiosks and a 12 Night Market 10 years later. The week long festival is presented by Trico Homes and includes speakers and presentations on various cultural and humanity topics along with a variety of cultural traditions such as dancing!
The park is perfect for the firework display. The fireworks are shot off the lake and there are hills all along it to get the perfect view of the different colours, designs and firework techniques. It is great for all ages whether you're a couple looking for a romantic night (as romantic as it can get with the many people they can pack into the park!) or a family looking for some summer bonding time. Parking can be a bit of a pain and the earlier you go, the easier it is to find store parking lots near the park. Tickets were $15 per person this year but rumor is that you can get tickets for $5..if you purchase them the year before!
This year China, Britain, France and USA competed to see who could showcase the best pyromusical firework display (with criteria and various requirements that the countries had to meet) and as every year the winner of the competition presents on the finale night. We decided to check out the finale night so we could see what people viewed as the country with the best firework display and we weren't disappointed. USA were the winners and the 20 minute (give or take) show was amazing!
Previous countries that participated include Canada, USA, Mexico, India, South Africa, Germany, Portugal, Hong Kong, China, Spain, Italy and Japan and it will be exciting to see what other countries will participate in the future.
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