FREE OLYMPICS – DAY 9

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Best wishes from Beijing

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Being patriotic

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The inukshuk at English Bay into the Olympic spirit, too

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A prelude to the tension expected from the USA-Canada hockey game the next day

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Hanging out at the nightly pyrotechnics/laser/light show once again

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2008 FAIR AT THE PNE

Wheels Of Steel #21

Another year, another fun-filled day at the Fair at the PNE for only $12 (at Safeway or 7-Eleven; 15$ on site).

The “Wheels of Steel” show was awesome as usual.  It was apparently a little bit too windy to get the full serving with the flying dirt bikes — safety first! –, but nevertheless, they put on a fine “jam session” for us (and let’s not forget about the ground-level acts too; the freestyle sport bikes and the racing quads).  And the MC, an essential part of the show, made the whole thing even better with some great acting and mid-action comments.

Peking Acrobats #1
The Peking Acrobats.

The Peking Acrobats were a little disappointing for me, after their flawless 45-minute routine from last year.  First off, they shortened their set to 30 minutes this year and they also had a few mishaps too.  But, coincidentally, an acquaintance was telling me the next day that she also saw them on the same day as me and this time they were perfect.  Mishaps or not, the stuff they did was quite impressive.

The Superdogs show was much better than last year’s; the misses — or were they scripted? — were just as funny as the rest of the show: in the high jump contest, I really liked the dog who insisted on running first past the high jump apparel, into the tunnel, before coming back for the jump.  The MC gave him a second chance and he did the same thing again.  Or the big dog from Quebec who rammed the 7 bars lined up instead of jumping above them; he then took a bar as he would a bone and left with it, the handlers unable to snatch it out of his mouth — lol!  They also had a fun relay race through an obstacle course where “my” side — the “Bow-Wow” team — won, thanks to Usain Bolt’s canine equivalent, “Havoc.”  He just blasted the competition away, especially through the slalom section.  The show also had an amazing frisbee routine featuring a lone dog/master combo; it’s the kind of dog trick/show that sometimes ends up in your e-mail and makes you go “Wow!”  

Chilliwack
Chilliwack, singing their classic hit “Whatcha Gonna Do”

I don’t remember noticing this kind of content last year, but the PNE had a great line-up of live acts this year.  Famous bands/singers such as Air Supply, Sheena Easton, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Canadians 54-40, Glass Tiger, and Chilliwack were among the lot.

Ferris Wheel #1
The Fair happens right next to Playland, where you can freely walk about and try your hand at some games

Merry-Go-Round
Getting dizzy on the merry-go-round at Playland

As for the food, it was way overpriced in my opinion, but the admission was not very expensive so…  But exceptionally, the “classicest” of the food items to be found on site — those mouth-watering hot, sugar/cinnamon coated mini-donuts (or “doughnuts”) — were cheap, at $3 for a bag of 13.  Yummy!

Add to the already cool list of things you can do at the Fair a pig race, horse show jumping, a “Market Place” full of original items to buy, Dal Richards and his (awesome) Orchestra playing daily, the Flying Canucks doing some aerial stunts, etc. and your 12$ goes a long way if you ask me!

But too bad, I went to the Fair in the closing days and now it’s over…  Don’t miss it next year! ;)

2008 PRIDE PARADE

Umbrellas

After the hugely popular HSBC Celebration of Light fireworks came to an end last night, the stage was set for the just as hugely popular pride parade and its very colorful participants. It seems like every year is a record year for this event. So much so that the organizers extended the route this year and it was estimated that the parade would last 2 1/2 hours. When you consider the fact that you have to get there one hour early or so to get a good spot, it means you’ll be standing on the sidelines for more or less four hours (the closer you are to the start line, the quicker it’s over).

Gilbert Baker
Gilbert Baker, artist behind the rainbow flag, created 30 years ago

Green Queen of Samba
Hey, I saw them at the Caribbean Days Festival last week!

Drunks
One of the funniest moments of the parade, for me

Rainbow Flag #1
Love the reflection on the… concrete?! :s

Spanking
Hanky Spanky

Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman

Royal LePage
lol

Disabled Man and his Dog
What a pose!

Rainbow Flag #2
The rainbow flag, a symbol of diversity

2008 POWELL STREET FESTIVAL

I couldn’t stay long enough to see everything that the festival had to offer, but while I was there, it was time well spent at Oppenheimer Park where Japanese Canadian arts, culture, and heritage were being celebrated (click here to read the festival’s official mission). The festival runs until today (Sunday August 3rd).

Japanese Instrument
Traditional Japanese music (can someone tell me the name of this instrument?)

Tug Of War
Different activities are available for children

Beads
Fabulous Japanese glass beads (called “Tombodama”) designed by artist Minori Takagi

Procession?
Forgive my ignorance, I don’t know what this thing represents and what the ceremony was for (anyone?)

Japanese-Style Umbrella
Japanese-style umbrella (what is its official name?)

Taiko Group Pic
Group pic with a cheerful Japanese man

Food Court
Food section

Rock & Roll
Punk Rock band Riff Randells (in English)

2008 HSBC CELEBRATION OF LIGHT – GRAND FINALE

Finale Fireworks #1

And here ends what I would dare say is the biggest event of the Summer, here in Vancouver.

Ferry Funny
Ferry fun on long exposure: there were 8 ferries playing around doing formations just before the beginning of the fireworks finale

Finale Fireworks #2

Finale Fireworks #3

Boating Frenzy
The usual boating frenzy after the fireworks

Next big event in line is the Pride Parade, today. This one promises to be very colorful also.

2008 HSBC CELEBRATION OF LIGHT – CHINA

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It was China’s turn to showcase its pyrotechnic skills last night, at the HSBC Celebration of Light. After seeing a few interesting pictures on the Net that were taken from Granville Bridge, I decided to try my luck there also. Although I was much further from the action than usual, I still had a great time (from a hobbyist photographer’s point of view anyway).

Vancouver Skyline
Before the show

Before the China Fireworks #3
Almost show time; the last few boats are making their way to their “seats”

China Fireworks #1

China Fireworks #13

China Fireworks #21

China Fireworks - Finale
Finale

Boat Frenzy
Boating frenzy after the fireworks

CARIBBEAN DAYS FESTIVAL – MULTICULTURAL STREET PARADE

Queen Of Samba #2
The Queen of Samba is thoroughly enjoying this parade, and so are we

The “Caribbean Days Festival” was happening this weekend, in North Van, and although there were many activities to choose from, I only attended the Multicultural Street Parade, before the light rain “scared” me and my camera away (my girlfriend says she’s lower maintenance than my camera, lol; but in my defense, she wasn’t too keen on being under the rain with no umbrella either ;) ).

It was a short, but lively parade full of colors, rythm and sexy costumes.

Sexy Black
Sexy!

Colorful Dancers
Colorful dancers

Jamaica, Man
Jamaica!

Red Angel
Red angel

Black Manta
What is this “costume” called? All I know is it looks impressive!

Sexy
Another sexy pose

Silver
Silver all over, except the hands (why?)

Shake Those Hips
Shake that booty

Attitude
Attitude

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