Detroit Fireworks: A Beginner’s Guide

The 2011 Target Fireworks in Detroit are Monday night (June 27th), and the show will be sure to captivate the thousands of spectators in attendance. The show choreographer is Patrick Brault of Zambelli Fireworks, most recently known for designing the pyrotechnics for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. They promise more than 10,000 pyrotechnics, new techniques, and will choreograph the show to great music.

We asked our fans on Facebook and Twitter where the best place to view the Detroit Fireworks was, and if they had any tips for the first-time visitor. We learned that to enjoy the Target Fireworks in Detroit, as with any spectacular event, you have to put up with some crowds. But that it’s also worth it. Take a look at some of the tips and best locations provided by our very helpful fans!

Tip #1 - Go early. You’ll be spending time with thousands of your new best friends, but you’ll want to beat them to the best locations for a great view of the show.

Tip #2 – Become familiar with the parking options in the area. One suggestion was to park in a garage or surface lot, and then ride the People Mover to one of the stops close to the River. Be ready to pay a parking fee, as well as a fee to ride the People Mover. Detroit will close some of the streets for crowd control, so be prepared to detour.

Tip #3 – Be sure to bring items that will make your wait, and the show more comfortable – camp chairs or a blanket, snacks, and drinks (non-alcoholic).

Tip #4 – Have patience. When the show is over, thousands of people have one agenda – to get from their viewing spot to their home – all at the same time. If you allow yourself to relax and enjoy a little people watching, by the time you’re ready to leave, a great deal of the crowd will have dispersed.

Where to watch

We were told about a lot of great spots to get a great view of the show, but 3 areas in particular were mentioned again and again. Take a look at what the fans had to say about the best views.

  1. Riverwalk and Hart Plaza –One fan wrote, “Anywhere as close to the river as possible!” and another, “The best spots are on the Riverwalk, Hart Plaza, or anywhere on the grass by the Spirit on Jefferson.”

  2. Cobo Center roof – “I've been many times, and at many locations, that was the best view of all times.” Another fan wrote, “Top of COBO hall, parking garage. Best place everyone. They shoot over your head!”

  3. On the Detroit River – “If you have a LARGE BOAT the Detroit River is the best place to see them.” And “From a boat on the River...but its amateur night on the water so safest place is anywhere along the shoreline!” Another fan suggests the river, and under the bridge, “Under the bridge, make an evening of it! Lots of boat traffic on the way back!”


Runner Up – Belle IsleThis is a gorgeous place to view the show, but the island only allows a certain number of people, and begins allowing visitors at 6:00 AM on Monday. If you want a spot on the Isle, get there early!

In addition to the top 3, there were some other ideas that you might want to check out.
Not-so-practical, yet interesting options –

  • From a helicopter

  • While descending in a plane to the airport


Some of the most popular viewing locations have restrictions, so make sure to check them out before heading over.

Did we cover everything? Share your tips for a fun Target Fireworks experience in the comments!