Prepared for blastoff

Alex Doty • Jun 28, 2017 at 10:00 AM

The skies above Grand Haven’s waterfront will light up with color on Tuesday, July 4, for the city’s annual Independence Day fireworks display.

“It will be a robust and enjoyable Fourth of July fireworks display,” Grand Haven City Manager Pat McGinnis said. “Nobody will go away disappointed.”

The city has a $23,000 agreement with Wolverine Fireworks of Kawkawlin to conduct the show, which will launch at 9:45 p.m. above Dewey Hill. The show will start following a performance of the Musical Fountain. 

According to McGinnis, the annual July 4 show brings in as many as 50,000 people.

“This used to be a show that was put on by the Jaycees until the Jaycees disbanded,” McGinnis noted.

Funding for the show now comes from city and Grand Haven Township contributions, the fireworks fund at the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, and local fundraisers and donations. McGinnis said new lease terms with the city’s waterfront properties include language about a Fourth of July fireworks show contribution.

“Each year, we get a little more diversified and discover new contributors,” he said. “We continue to diversify that donor base. ... If everyone gave a dollar, we’d have the best fireworks show in the Midwest.”

Personal fireworks

While the city gets ready to host its holiday display, residents and visitors across the Tri-Cities are reminded to follow rules regarding their discharge of fireworks.

Local rules state that consumer-grade fireworks can only be used on the day before, during or after 10 select holidays, which include Independence Day.

“Don’t be shooting fireworks off over the Fourth of July weekend,” McGinnis said. “Two days before (the holiday), it’s not OK.”

Consumer fireworks became legal in Michigan in 2012. State law requires that consumer-grade fireworks only be ignited from personal property, as it’s illegal to ignite them on public property — including streets and sidewalks, school property, church property, or another person’s property without permission.

State law makes it illegal to discharge fireworks when intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. When fire-related incidents involve consumer, low impact or illegal fireworks resulting in property damage, injury or death of another person, individuals are subject to being convicted of a misdemeanor or felony punishable by imprisonment of not more than five years and fines of up to $10,000, or both, depending upon the severity of the crime.

“Those are the rules, and we expect that people will abide by those rules,” McGinnis said.


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