Even if you are blind, you can enjoy the fireworks.
That’s what eight visually impaired people proved Wednesday night at the Celebration of Lights.
Local non-profit, “Vocal Eye” rounded up volunteers to translate the fireworks on the backs of those who can’t see, by tracing speed, patterns and movement.
Vancouverite Karim Damani, who is legally blind, says everyone should be able to take in the magic.
“The fireworks are things that we enjoyed all of our lives before we became blind, and for people who have been blind or were born blind and never had that experience, we can hear the fireworks, and hear the little fizzles and the booms, but we never get to see the fireworks. This avenue of describing the fireworks by tracing it on a person’s back as a new approach sounds really great.”
Vancouver resident Laura Mackenrot lost her vision a decade ago.
“I lost my right eye completely while I was travelling; my backpacking experience after University, and then it took two years for my left eye to fully go blind.”
She had a VIP seat at the fireworks.
“I actually haven’t attended while I’ve been fully blind it’s been kind of a scary experience.”
She says everyone, blind or sighted, would be able to enjoy the magic.
The “Vocal Eye” will also provide services for the first time at this weekend’s Vancouver Pride Parade.”
It was a relatively peaceful night for Vancouver Police.
Despite a crowd believed to be around 300,000 people, only minor problems.
“We had a lot of officers deployed, so we were able to deal with those small problems quickly before they escalated. I expect we will have several hundred liquor pour-outs, some seizures and some tickets written. There’s usually a few people who end up going to jail for various reasons, but for the most part, a pretty well behaved crowd.”
Constable Brian Montague says it’s nothing like it was years ago…
“It was affectionately known as the “Festival of Fights” and that has changed. It’s become much more family orientated. We’ve improved how we do things, but the crowd has also learned how to behave.”
Saturday the celebration wraps up with Canada. Upwards of 400,000 people are expected to attend.