10 Spectacular Michigan Fireworks Shows
Across Michigan, cities and towns celebrate the Fourth of July with marching bands and cook-outs, red-white-and-blue bunting and a day at the lake. But the real Independence Day party begins when the sun goes down. Pack up the kids, load up the car and head out for a brilliant fireworks show in Pure Michigan.
1. Bayshore Park - MunisingFamous as a gateway to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Munising is never better than in summer, when visitors explore the lakeshore on hiking paths and sightseeing cruises. The Upper Peninsula town also attracts visitors for its waterfalls (Miners Falls and Munising Falls are among the most popular and easiest to access). Enjoy Munising’s world-class outdoor recreation, then head over to Bayshore Park for live music, food and a spectacular fireworks display over Lake Superior.
2. Waterfront - Grand Haven
Set up your blanket early on the Grand Haven channel—this stretch of downtown fills up early—and relax with a Pronto Pup corndog, some first-rate people watching and the warming rays of the summer sun. Once dusk falls, you can watch a performance of the Musical Fountain, one of the world’s largest. Multi-colored jets of water sway and dance in time to the music, guaranteed to be patriotic on Independence Day. Afterward, the fireworks explode overhead, lighting up all of Grand Haven’s waterfront.
There’s plenty of reason to look up around Independence Day in Battle Creek, when dozens of airborne vehicles fill the sky. The week-long holiday celebration features inflight aircraft demonstrations, aerial military reenactments and even an unusual nighttime air show. Brightly-colored hot air balloons rise into the sky on two of Battle Creek’s festival days. And on July 4th the party culminates with the roar of military aircraft—America’s largest air show—and fireworks.
Fort Mackinac, where the parade grounds are covered with red-and-white-checked picnic cloths and tables heaped with summertime favorites: BBQ ribs and corn on the cob, hot dogs and burgers, baked beans and watermelon. The American Picnic marks a fitting celebration of this all-American holiday, and also include live patriotic music before the nighttime fireworks show, the illuminated Mackinac Bridge in the background.
All of Grand Rapids looks forward to the city’s Independence Day fireworks, spreading blankets on the lawn at downtown’s Ah-Nab-Awen Park on the banks of the Grand River near the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. The fun begins in the early evening with children’s games and crafts, food and live music. After dark, the bursting pyrotechnics reflect off Grand Rapids’ downtown office towers and leave a celebratory echo through the city streets.
Northern Michigan’s favorite fruit takes center stage each year at Traverse City’s annual Cherry Festival, and the celebration coincides with Independence Day. Spend the holiday sampling the wines of the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail and Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula. Try your hand at a cherry pit-spitting contest. Watch the U.S. Navy Blue Angels flight show and catch a live music performance. And don’t miss the phenomenal fireworks show the evening of July 4, when the multicolored show glimmers off the waters of Grand Traverse Bay.
7. West Bay - Grand MaraisA quaint town on the easternmost edge of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Grand Marais charms visitors with its downtown galleries, the Grand Marais Historical Society’s Light Keeper’s Museum and family-owned restaurants serving up Lake Superior whitefish. On the Fourth of July, Grand Marais celebrates America’s birthday with a parade, street dancing and a fireworks show that grows doubly beautiful when reflected off Lake Superior’s West Bay. When the smoke clears, keep your eyes pointed heavenward. On a clear evening, your late night will be rewarded with a million twinkling stars.
8. Light Up the Lake Festival - South HavenSpread your blanket on the ground at Riverfront Park. Or find a perch either on South Haven’s North Pier or the South Pier, near the South Haven Lighthouse. It seems that all of Lake Michigan lights up at Independence Day at the annual Light Up the Lake Festival. And if the psychedelic light show isn’t enough to satisfy you, the pyrotechnics are synchronized to music!
9. 4th of July Festival - Boyne City
Two days of non-stop fun helped catapult Boyne City onto USA Today’s list of best small-town Independence Day celebrations in 2016. Inflatable children’s toys and an arts and crafts show, a soap box derby and road races, a parade and live music, a chicken barbecue and hot dogs. All of this and more fills the days leading up to the holiday’s grand finale: a fireworks show over Lake Charlevoix.
10. Hart Plaza - Detroit
Traditionally staged about one week before Independence Day, Detroit’s fireworks show lights up all of the RiverWalk, embracing the Detroit River and the glass and steel towers of the Renaissance Center in a psychedelic light show. Live music and carnival food precedes the big event. You can catch the show from Hart Plaza or up close at the Rooftop Party, a ticketed event that includes food and drinks, games for the kids and live entertainment.