The largest pyrotechnics competition of its kind in the world, the Montreal International Fireworks Competition has been going strong since 1985 and remains one of this city's top summer attractions. In 2017, the Montreal Fireworks Competition is held July 1 through August 5, 2017. Keep scrolling for details on when and where to catch them.
Watch for Free
Where's the best place to see Montreal fireworks come International Fireworks Competition time?
No one will argue that buying a ticket to see them up close and personal at La Ronde is a sure bet but you can get a great view just the same without paying a penny.
And it seems like every local has his or her favorite secret spot. But not everyone has access to a strategically located private highrise balcony or rooftop. Regardless, there are so many possible vantage points in the city guaranteed to give you a spectacular view of one of the most impressive pyrotechnic competitions in the world.
Pay to See
Splurge a little and see them synchronized to music, up close with the judges at La Ronde, just in front of the Lac des Dauphins. It's a nice treat and more impressive than viewing them for free from a distance, albeit pricey for a 30-minute show. So plan for a day trip: all fireworks tickets, varying from roughly $52 to $70 plus taxes, grant a full day's admission to all of La Ronde's rides and roller coasters.
Parking at La Ronde on the day/eve of fireworks will set you back roughly $25. Buy tickets.
Same Time, Rain or Shine
All shows are scheduled at 10 p.m. Motorists should be aware that for all presentations, the Jacques-Cartier Bridge closes at 8 p.m., only reopening at the end of each show.
For a reminder of how spectacular the shows are, check out this Montreal fireworks photo gallery.
Montreal Fireworks 2017 Schedule
Dates for the 2017 of the Montreal International Fireworks Competition are on some Wednesdays and all Saturdays throughout July 2017. See this year's schedule, featured countries and themes by date further down the page just below. And for hotel recommendations, keep scrolling. They're listed below the schedule. Note that all shows start at 10 p.m., rain or shine.
Montreal Fireworks Competition Dates: July and August 2017
The July 2017 edition of the International Fireworks Competition promises to be especially dynamic given that it's celebrating the city of Montreal's 375th anniversary. Note that opening and closing nights of the Montreal International Fireworks Competition are generally non-competition events and typically do not feature a specific country.
Saturday, July 1, 2017
Featured country: No Competing Country on Opening Night (Firm: Panzera-Rozzi's Famous Fireworks)
Featured theme: Celebrating Montreal in honor of its 375th anniversary
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Featured country: Italy (Firm: Vaccalluzzo Events)
Featured theme: Bellissima Siciliana
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Featured country: Poland (Firm: Surex)
Featured theme: Just Fun
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Featured country: Germany (Firm: Innovative Pyrotechnik GMBH)
Featured theme: Pyro Rhapsody
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Featured country: France (Firm: féérie)
Featured theme: Evolution of Music
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Featured country: Portugal (Firm: Macedos Pirotecnia)
Featured theme: The Portuguese Odyssey
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Featured country: England (Firm: Jubilee Fireworks Ltd.)
Featured theme: Gunpowder and Greasepaint
Saturday, August 5, 2017
Featured country: No Competing Country, Fireworks Competition Finale (Firm: GFA Pyro and La Ronde)
Featured theme: Finale des étoiles
Hotels Near the Fireworks
Luxury rooms that won't break the bank and within walking distance of the fireworks? Try Le Petit Hotel in the heart of Old Montreal.
It's a quick stroll from a variety of attractions, including the fireworks, the Montreal Science Centre IMAX, Pointe-à-Callière, the Notre-Dame Basilica and some of the best baked goods in the city. You can expect to pay the same as what New York travelers pay to stay at a hotel near Times Square. Check guest reviews and prices for Le Petit Hotel on Tripadvisor.
Near the Fireworks: Old Montreal's Top 12 Hotels
And if you want star treatment -as in literally, Hollywood's elite typically stay here- then try Le St-James. It's Old Montreal's most elegant boutique hotel. Check guest reviews and prices for Le St-James on Tripadvisor.
And for a killer deal in Old Montreal, get thee to Auberge Bonaparte. With any luck, you could score a room for around $260 during high season. Trust me. That's "budget" for the neighborhood. Note that I've personally recommended all of these businesses to friends and colleagues. Service across the board is consistently outstanding. Check guest reviews and prices for Auberge Bonaparte on Tripadvisor.
Travel in Style: Montreal's Best Boutique Hotels
Are all three booked already? There's always the Springhill Suites. It's also in Old Montreal, adjacent one of my favorite spots to sip on a glass of red wine, where room prices are comparable to Bonaparte's. Check guest reviews and prices for Springhill Suites on Tripadvisor.
And lest I forget the Nelligan. Its prices are a little higher than Le Petit Hotel's but you do get a premium experience, including a gorgeous rooftop terrace. Check guest reviews and prices for Hotel Nelligan on Tripadvisor.
And for a few dollars more, somewhere halfway between Le Petit Hotel and Le St-James is Auberge du Vieux-Port. Run by the same people as the Nelligan, booking a room here gives you a premium seat on its rooftop terrace which incidentally, offers one of the best views of the Montreal International Fireworks Competition. Check guest reviews and prices for Auberge du Vieux-Port on Tripadvisor.
Planning a Trip to Montreal? A Note on Previous Montreal Fireworks Schedules
Some previous editions featured fireworks spread out over two months every Saturday from mid-June through August. Yet others crammed them into a shorter July-long affair of biweekly showings on Saturdays, Fridays and/or Wednesdays. In the case of the Montreal Fireworks 2015 schedule, all but one of the fireworks displays ran Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout July.
But How Can I Plan My Stay in Montreal to Catch the Fireworks If I Don't Know When They're Happening
For visitors waiting on next edition dates and thus not sure how to proceed with their travel plans since the fireworks schedule is subject to change ever year, consider this strategy if you have no choice but to book your trip months in advance:
- plan for a long weekend
- book a hotel on a Friday night AND a Saturday night some time throughout the month of July to guarantee an opportunity to see at least one fireworks show. Even though schedules change every year, two things are a constant. Most of the shows are on a Friday or Saturday. And July dates are ALWAYS on the schedule.