Ah, the 4th of July fireworks. Nothing says "America!" like a showy burst of light in the sky, though Detroit chooses to celebrate more than a week early in deference to Canadians, who will also be able to see the fireworks and celebrate their independence on July 1, Canada Day.
The 54th Annual Target Fireworks, sponsored in large part by Target and organized by the Parade Company, are scheduled for 10:06 p.m. (yes, to the minute) on Monday, June 25 and will make the skyline and waterways "dance with lights and music," or so says the Parade Company, though they leave out the explosive noises.
Excitement for this year's fireworks has been marred by threats of future cancellation as the city looks at cost saving measures in all places. A foreboding statement from Mayor Dave Bing warned that "future Detroit-based events that attract and entertain millions from throughout southeast Michigan are being carefully reviewed" and "it is no longer feasible to have these events funded primarily by Detroit taxpayers."
Fireworks cost the city around $700,000, with policing and other expenses. The city sought help from outside agencies and Macomb and Oakland County sheriffs are sending a force of 86 and 50 reserves, according to the Oakland Press. The city will reimburse the counties. According to MLive, state police, U.S. border patrol, coast guard Department of Homeland security and a slew of other forces will be helping police the fireworks.
Safety concerns have also led the city to impose a curfew from 6 p.m Monday to 6 a.m. the following day for minors 17 years old and younger, who must be with a parent or guardian. Last year, two teens at the fireworks were shot and injured when one's gun went off accidentally.
But while Police Chief Ralph Godbee worries about gang activity and the city frets about how to afford the event, organizers assure the fireworks aren't in jeopardy for following years.
Tony Michaels, CEO and President of the Parade Company, told WDIV the show must go on for years to come and he's talked to Governor Rick Snyder about just that.
If after Monday you're not willing to wait until next year for more fireworks, here's a staggering list of firework displays happening throughout Michigan. If you're the type who likes to commemorate official fireworks with a little show of your own, no need to drive to Ohio or Indiana to find the "good" fireworks. A new law took effect earlier this year when July was just a distant dream that allows businesses to sell fireworks that shoot into the air generate $8 to $10 million for the state from licensing fees, according to the Detroit Free Press.
For more information about the 54th Annual Target Fireworks, including parking, road closures and where to find your lost children, see CBS Detroit, and check out our gallery below of the best spots to watch the fireworks.
Hart Plaza will be packed, and you have to get there before 8:30 when it closes, but it's the perfect place to view the fireworks. No pets, alcohol or cooking. <em>Flickr photo <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/123chromapixels/3691451886/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">by 123 Chroma Pixels</a>.</em>
Belle Isle is another popular but crazy crowded spot. The park opens early in the morning and will close when it reaches capacity. <em>Flickr photo <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/josephleenovak/671553219/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">by josephleenovak</a>.</em>
There are several miles from which to enjoy the river and the fireworks on the RiverWalk. Again, no cooking, alcohol or pets. <em>Flickr photo <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpowers65/3621543222/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">by jpowers65</a>.</em>
Malden Park, Windsor
It may seem kind of odd to watch the Detroit fireworks from another country, but it's the best place to see the city skyline, and Malden Park can't be beat. <em>[Flickr/Wikimedia] photo <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/23056733@N05/4289928668/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">by jodelli</a>.</em>
Alas, while the official <a href="http://www.theparade.org/fireworks.php" target="_hplink">VIP Rooftop Party</a> (just like Detroit to have a VIP party on top of a parking garage) is sold out, if you're willing to pay for a view there's several restaurants offering specials. <a href="http://www.theepicureangroup.com/events.html" target="_hplink">Coach Insignia at the Renaissance Center</a> is offering a pricey strolling dinner with funds donated to Cass Community Social Services. <a href="http://www.joemuerseafood.com/events/" target="_hplink">Joe Muer Seafood</a> and <a href="http://signaturedetroit.com/detroit-riverfront-community/" target="_hplink">Signature Grill</a> will also be open. Call to check for availability.
Another ritzy, "exclusive" party is <a href="http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=tu584scab&oeidk=a07e6187ygr9541e147" target="_hplink">happening at Port Authority</a>, hosted by Opus One with a dinner buffet. <a href="http://detroit.curbed.com/archives/2012/06/baby-youre-a-firework-own-the-night-like-the-25th-of-june.php" target="_hplink">(h/t Curbed Detroit)</a>
Mt. Elliott Park
Mt. Elliott Park may have a little less foot traffic and will have some great views.
Your New Best Friend's Roof
You might be living street level, but there's still time to make friends with (or leech onto) someone living in the Park Shelton, or another tall building. <em>Flickr photo <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jtothejeremy/4587182279/sizes/l/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">by jwhiting360</a>.</em>
Historic Fort Wayne
Spacious lawns and a historic backdrop make Fort Wayne in Delray a great spot. No alcohol allowed and $5 to park. <em>Flickr photo <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gab482/424813514/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">by gab482</a>.</em>
It's only 75 cents to ride the People Mover, which is a lot better for an aerial view than the price-per-head over at Coach Insignia. Ride it to get to your spectator spot (though Cobo, RenCen and Millender Center stations close at 3 p.m.), or maybe just ride it in circles all night and try to catch a glimpse of the fireworks? Flickr photo <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mkumm/3744180991/sizes/z/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">by mkumm</a>.</em>
Also On The Huffington Post..
Bill Weimer provides tips for staying safe when using all types of commercial fireworks. Make sure you are prepared by watching these videos!
Wikimedia photo by Vito Palmisano.