While Fourth of July fireworks may be one of oldest American traditions, Detroit’s Parade Company always has something new up its proverbial sleeve.
This year, the theme of “Colors of Love” has a special meaning because the fireworks will have a new hue added to the mix, said Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Company. He refused to reveal the color ahead of time, saying the surprise had to wait until the night of June 22.
For Michaels and the rest of The Parade Company team, the 57th Ford Fireworks is the official kickoff of summer in Detroit city.
“It’s going to be one of the biggest, brightest and best ever,” Michaels said of the annual event, which is one of the world’s largest and most well-attended fireworks displays.
The fireworks also will be a minute longer, Michaels said, taking the show up to 24 minutes in total. That 60-second addition may not seem like much, but it is significant in the planning of such a monumental event, he noted.
“It takes an amazing amount of collaboration to pull off an event this huge,” Michaels said. “That’s why we are so proud that it is free to the public. It means so much to so many people. And it’s a great way to enjoy Detroit and bring people here to see the great things happening in the city.”
The Parade Company selects the musical arrangement that Zambelli Fireworks Internationale will stage with more than 10,000 pyrotechnic effects along the Detroit River. Michaels said this year’s show will be choreographed again by the world-renowned Patrick Brault, who has years of experience designing pyrotechnic displays, including the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Ford Motor Co. is now in its second year as title sponsor and as presenting sponsor of The Parade Company’s Rooftop Party, one of The Parade Company’s largest fund-raising events. It is sold out already, Michaels said, making this year’s celebration even sweeter.
“The fireworks are stronger than ever with the great support from Ford Motor Company. It’s been great teaming up with them and our other sponsors,” Michaels added.
To help make this an enjoyable experience for all, the City of Detroit provided the following information to assist spectators.
Viewing areas: The following locations have been identified as the best viewing sites: Hart Plaza, Belle Isle (viewing from the MacArthur Bridge will not be permitted) and Mt. Elliott Park, Owens Park and Erma Henderson Park
Hart Plaza will be open to the general public, but pedestrian set-ups and/or gatherings will not be permitted before 2 p.m. June 22. Entry to Hart Plaza will close once it has reached desired capacity. There is No Re-Admittance once you leave Hart Plaza. No tents allowed. No alcohol, pets, or contraband (weapons, knives, etc.) will be allowed. Flames or fires are prohibited, and cooking is prohibited. Reserving an area in excess of the number of people currently in the group is prohibited. Coolers and backpacks will be searched.
Belle Isle will be closed on Monday, June 22, until 2 p.m. for vehicle traffic. Motorists will need the Recreation Passport to enter the island. The passport, which is only needed for vehicles, may be purchased at the entrance for $11. Once island capacity is reached, no additional vehicles will be admitted to the park. Alcohol consumption is prohibited on the island except by use permit, which can be obtained from the park supervisor with a shelter or event rental. Tents and canopies should be 9 feet by 9 feet or smaller with no more than two tents or canopies per group. Consumer fireworks are prohibited on the island. The Detroit RiverWalk and Riverside Park will be closed.
The Municipal Parking Department also will not enforce parking meters after 10 p.m. June 22. However, motorists are advised to observe parking restrictions. Parking violators will be ticketed, and in some instances, vehicles may be towed. Motorists will be ticketed for: Improper parking (vehicles within 20 feet from crosswalk; within 15 feet from an intersection, within 30 feet of a stop sign or traffic control device; and within 15 feet of a fire hydrant) Parking in designated zones, such as handicap zones (without proper credentials), fire lane, no parking zones or no standing zones.
Parking Facilities and Lots
MPD will offer parking at the following City-owned garages and lots.
• Ford Underground Garage: 6 a.m. – 1 a.m.; $5 (minimum) – $15 (maximum); 30 E. Jefferson
• Joe Louis Arena Garage; 6 a.m. – 1 a.m.; $10; 900 W. Jefferson
• Millennium Garage: 24 hours; $10; 432 W. Congress
• Premier Garage; 24 hours; $5 (minimum) – $15 (maximum); 1206-08 Woodward Ave.; No new customers after 9 p.m.)
• Grand Circus Park Garage; 24 hours; $5 (minimum) – $15 (maximum); 1601 Woodward Avenue