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GlobalFest fireworks set to dazzle crowds after pandemic-related absence

Fireworks atop the water of Elliston Park during the 2019 edition of GlobalFest. (image: Mike Cheong) Fireworks atop the water of Elliston Park during the 2019 edition of GlobalFest. (image: Mike Cheong)

The 2021 edition of GlobalFest will kick off Thursday, bringing world-class fireworks displays back to Calgary's Elliston Park after a cancelled 2020 festival.

The international fireworks competition is scheduled to take place on five select days including the Aug. 28 finale.

  • Aug. 19 — China
  • Aug. 21 — India
  • Aug. 24 —Japan
  • Aug. 26 — Philippines
  • Aug. 28 — GlobalFest finale

The international teams will not be participating in-person due to border restrictions but the designers will oversee the fruits of their labour, brought to life by local pyrotechnicians, via video call.

Tickets for this year's events are available online and there will not be a box office at the gates. Those with outstanding tickets from 2020 can exchange last year's tickets for 2021 at the GlobalFest offices (285 2323 32nd Ave. N.E.) or may defer their tickets to 2022 by contacting the office.

Children aged five or under will be admitted for free when accompanied by an adult.

The pyrotechnic musical displays are weather dependent and ticketholders are encouraged to check beforehand to ensure the night has not been rescheduled due to the conditions.

GlobalFest was cancelled in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, organizers have altered the layout of the festival grounds in an effort to increase physical distancing. The Southview area, situated in a section near the South Bowl that had been fenced off in previous years, will be open to attendees. The new vantage point will be the closest seating to the fireworks in GlobalFest history and increases the available space on the grounds by more than 40 per cent.

The Children's Village, cultural pavilions and night market will not return this year. Organizers say the exclusion was a difficult decision, but the venues had proven popular places for meeting and mingling amongst attendees.

This year's festival is scheduled to include 20 international food vendors, four stages offering dance and musical performances, and the entire park has been licensed to allow alcohol in all seating areas.

Mask use will be encouraged throughout Elliston Park but will only be mandatory in two designated areas including the designated accessible seating section.

For additional information on this year's festival visit GlobalFest. Top Stories

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