Michigan’s Most Notable Fireworks Displays
Summer is just around the corner, heralding sunny days, warm nights, barbeques, and America’s favorite patriotic holiday: the 4thof July! We all have our favorite Independence Day pastimes – whether it be a relaxing boating trip out on your favorite lake, climbing the Sleeping Bear Dunes with the kids, or splashing around in the clear waters of Lake Michigan – but all can agree that the most spectacular experiences that 4thof July has to offer are the fireworks.
Millions flock to their local beaches, boats, docks, and patios armed with folding chairs, blankets, and snacks to watch the striking show unfold above them. It is in these moments that America finds itself united underneath the brilliant patriotic sky. When the celebrations come to a close, everyone packs up their belongings and slowly trudge back to their vehicles, their sun-kissed cheeks flushed as they already begin anticipating next year’s festivities.
The location you choose to celebrate America’s most honored tradition matters. Here is a hand-picked list of the top 7 locations to watch the best firework shows in Michigan!
1.) The National Cherry Festival
Perhaps one of the most notable locations, all locals and visitors alike know of the renowned National Cherry Festival in Traverse City! This eight-day long festival includes a huge variety of events that appeal to all ages. Strolling around the festival on the 4thof July will bring you sights such as the Great American Duck Race, kids crafts and activities, Cherry Pie Eating Contest, and more! After night has fallen, a stunning fireworks display lights up the sky for a flashy show that can be seen from multiple locations. Viewing spots include Clinch Park beach, Bryant and West End Beaches, and around the festival’s Open Space Park. Find all festival events and more information here.
Find Northern Nail Polish at the National Cherry Festival Arts & Crafts Show on July 1st!
Art will fill Union Street during National Cherry Festival on Sunday, July 1. Over 150 vendors will feature product from Grandview Parkway to 6th Street along Union Street from 10 am to 7 pm.
2.) Frankfort Beach
Another engaging viewing location can be found at Frankfort Beach. During the day several events set the scene, such as the annual Art in the Park, a parade, the carnival, and a sand castle sculpture contest. Once dusk falls, crowds gather lakeside to watch the fireworks burst in series of bright colors over Lake Michigan. Frankfort Beach offers the viewers wide sandy expanses that are perfect for setting up and settling in with your blankets, chairs, coolers, and more. Visitors praise Frankfort Beach for its scenic panoramic views of dunes, piers, a stately lighthouse, and the vast lakefront. This beach is also dog-friendly, but we’d recommend leaving your four-legged friend home during this explosive show. Find more information about Frankfort Beach and its firework show here.
Find Northern Nail Polish at Art in the Park in Frankfort on July 4th!
Art in the Park will be held in Mineral Springs Park from 10 am until 5 pm.
3.) Mackinaw City
If you’re really searching to get the most ‘bang for your buck’ (but don’t worry – “admission” is free), Mackinaw City’s fireworks boast to be the “Largest Fireworks Display in Northern Michigan!” From the first thrilling fiery burst to the sensational grand finale, this jaw-dropping firework show will surely work its way into your family’s Independence Day traditions. This grandiose display can be viewed from Conkling Heritage Park, Mackinaw Crossings, Marina Lawn, and South Huron Avenue. If you’re looking for a truly remarkable experience, the Mackinac Island Ferry’s 4thof July Fireworks Cruise leaves the docks in both Mackinaw City and St. Ignace at 9:30 PM on the 4th. The Star Line Ferry floats beneath the night sky for nearly two full hours, giving its occupants a first-rate view of the red, white, and blue. Find out more about the fireworks and the ferry ride here and here.
4.) Grand Haven
If light shows are your thing, then Grand Haven is your definite destination this 4thof July. Festivities are kicked off late morning with a patriotic parade, after which the town trickles off, only to return in full force that evening for a unique and dazzling display. The annual showing of the Grand Haven Musical Fountain and National Anthem is truly a site to behold – colorful flashes of light shooting out of the Waterfront Stadium’s fountains in synchronized bursts that align with the national anthem and other patriotic music. This show is free for viewers, but the area fills up fast, so be sure to get there in time to beat the crowds! Once the Musical Fountain show has ended, the second light show of the night begins – the fireworks! This dramatic display can be viewed from all around the Waterfront Stadium, including stretches of grassy areas to the east (the Municipal Marina area) and west of the stadium. If you can’t fight the masses to reach any of these areas, the firework show can be seen from most of the streets of downtown Grand Haven. Find more information on both events here.
Hailed as the best firework show in West Michigan, the Independence Day Fireworks Celebration is an engaging all-day family event in Holland, Michigan. During the day, kids’ games, vendors, live music, and more attract entertainment-seeking crowds to the beautiful Kollen Park. As evening approaches, the excitement shifts, as families grab chairs and blankets and begin staking out viewing space in the park, facing Lake Macatawa in anticipation of the grand firework show. Find out more here.
6.) Bay City
For those located in Mid-Michigan, the Bay City 4thof July Event is a must-attend occasion for the entire family! The Bay City’s Fireworks Festival is a three-day long event that remains a long-standing tradition. During the day, the Skerbeck Family Carnival is in full-swing, delighting children and adults alike with its entertainment. This six-generation old carnival arrives with all of the classics – rides, food concession stands, game booths, vendors, craft fairs, and more! The first two nights of this festival culminate in a colorful and dramatic fireworks display, and the third and final night of the festival ushers in their grand finale firework show! If you’re searching for the best view, we recommend taking a boat out on the Saginaw River. Fireworks are launched over this waterway from both Wenona Park and Vets Park, making it a large-scale event that will not disappoint! Find prices, events, and a great video of last year’s show here.
For the past 60 years, Ford Fireworks in Detroit, Michigan has proudly put on the state’s largest fireworks display. Thousands flock to the edge of the Detroit River to view the spectacular show that lights up the Detroit and Windsor skyline. Several prime viewing locations can be staked-out beforehand, and include places like Hart Plaza, Belle Isle, Mt. Elliott Park, Owens Park, and Erma Henderson Park. The best viewing spot, however, can be found at the Ford Fireworks Rooftop Party, which is hosted by the Ford Motor Company and is located on top of the Center Parking Garage. This lofty location gives the partygoers an up-close view of the magnificent show, as well as provides special entertainment, food, and drinks. Unlike most firework shows, this event occurs prematurely in the tail-end of June. This scheduling will allow for Michigan residents to attend multiple firework festivals during the summer, so clear your schedules and pack your bags! Find more information here.
No matter where you choose to spend your Independence Day, another important 4th of July American tradition is to dress in red, white, and blue to proudly display the love you have for your country. Kick your patriotism up a notch this year and embellish your nails with Northern Nail Polish’s one-of-a-kind limited edition patriotic line of red, white, blue and star-spangled nail polishes. Each bottle packs a shimmery punch that mirrors the bright bursts seen in the summer night sky. Support local American businesses and include your beauty routine in your celebrations this year!
About the author: Taylor Smith is a graduate student majoring in Biology. She is passionate about science, the environment, promoting animal rights, and reading novels.