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Rochester Hills

City fireworks celebrate 30th anniversary

June 11, 2014

ROCHESTER HILLS — The city’s 30th birthday will be celebrated with a bang during Festival of the Hills June 25 at Borden Park.

The annual festival is Michigan’s second largest fireworks show. 

Attending Festival of the Hills is one of the best and safest ways to celebrate the Fourth of July, said Capt. Michael Johnson, of the Oakland County Sheriffs Office’s Rochester Hills substation.

Consumer fireworks are strictly regulated in Rochester Hills.

“The only times in the city that (residents) can use fireworks are the day before, the day of and the day after a national holiday,” Johnson said. “The use of consumer fireworks on any other date is prohibited.” A city ordinance also forbids using fireworks between midnight and 8 a.m.

Johnson said consumer fireworks are to be used on the user’s property or with permission on other property.

“You can’t just go to a parking lot,” he said. Violators are subject to charges of civil infraction and could face fines up to $500.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are more fires on a typical Fourth of July than any other day of the year, and fireworks start two out of three of July 4 fires.

“One of the best ways to enjoy fireworks is to go to a public display like the Festival of the Hills, which is conducted by professionals,” Johnson said. “We have a great show scheduled.”

All are invited to bring blankets and chairs to the Festival of the Hills, which welcomes more than 50,000 attendees every year. The family-friendly event opens at 6 p.m. with a petting zoo, obstacle courses, bounce houses, music provided by the Gratitude Steel Drum Band, food and more.

Sponsorship provided by TTi Global includes live entertainment by Mel Ball and Colours. The Rochester Avon Recreation Authority sponsors family games.

“This event would not be what it is today without the continued support of our generous sponsors, residents and business community,” Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett said in a statement. “Last year’s display was the biggest and best show yet, and this year, we promise to deliver an even bigger and brighter show.”

Johnson said festival attendees should arrive early.

“It is a very, very busy place,” he said. The event is held rain or shine. No alcoholic beverages, pets, sparklers, open fires or grills are allowed. Handicapped parking is available at the Hamlin Road park entrance.

Admission to Festival of the Hills is free and includes activities and games, thanks to a partnership with Oakland County Parks.

Borden Park is located on the southeast corner of Hamlin and John R. For more information, call (248) 841-BOOM or visit

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