The Montreal International Fireworks Competition starts next week and is set to take over your hot summer nights for the next few months! As it does every year, the fireworks festival will take over the night skies, close down traffic-clogged streets and open them to foot traffic, announce its beginning with terrific roars and bursts, and generally force people to get out of the air-conditioning and look up at the summer sky. This year the schedule diverges a bit, in previous years the fireworks would occur only on Wednesdays and Saturdays, this year fireworks will be seen on regular Saturdays, and alternating Tuesdays and Fridays.
You can check the schedule here.
The fireworks, known officially as L’International des Feux Loto Quebec, is a world competition of firework displays set to music. The first team will be Japan on June 30. Each display begins at 10pm and follows a particular theme. You can listen along to the music accompaniment on several local radio stations, and in many favorite viewing spots people will oblige by playing their car radios with the windows rolled down.
Not to be missed: the closing event on August 3rd is an homage to Freddie Mercury and Queen!
Three Favorite Places to Watch the Fireworks in Montreal.
1- My favorite fireworks spot is in the middle of the Jaques Cartier Bridge. The fireworks originate from a spot on the water of the St Laurent and as you walk over the bridge, which is closed to vehicle traffic for the event, you get about as close as you ever want to get to fireworks. Grab an ice cream from the closest depaneur to keep you company before you go and you will enjoy the best night of the summer.
2- The Old Port is a great spot for a romantic stroll any summer night, but top it off by catching a gorgeous fireworks display with a couple hundred Montrealers and you’ve got yourself a night to remember.
3- The Saturday of Osheaga, Montreal’s outdoor Indie Rock music festival. You’re watching the headline act for that day, say it’s famous Montreal Indie Rock band, The Arcade Fire. You look up. What’s that in the sky? Is it Fireworks? Could it be?
“That’s right,” said my friend Sarah “It’s the Arcade Fireworks.” (Summer 2010)