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St. Clair Shores

Published June 21, 2013

Weekend will start with a bang with annual fireworks

» click to enlarge «
Eleven-year-old Matthew Flynn, of West Bloomfield, his 13-year-old sister, Maria, and 4-year-old cousin, Anthony Sokacz, of St. Clair Shores, hold sparklers before the 2012 fireworks. This year’s show is set for June 28 at Veterans Memorial Park.
The $40,000 show, shot off from barges in Lake St. Clair, can be seen from more than a mile away on land or lake.


"There's usually a free concert on Wednesday," said acting city manager Mike Smith. "There will still be a concert, but the normal charge for the fireworks will apply."

ST. CLAIR SHORES — It’s a date many anticipate and relish — the night they can gather with family, friends and the rest of the community to see the shining lights of fireworks glisten over Lake St. Clair.

“It’s always a little bit different,” said Activities Committee Chair Maureen Antushevich. “Last year we went with the choreographed (show) and we liked that, so we’re sticking with that.”

The 2013 First State Bank Fireworks Extravaganza will start at dark, around 10 p.m., on June 28 at Veterans Memorial Park on Jefferson Avenue at Masonic Boulevard.

The 25-minute show put on by Great Lakes Fireworks will be set to music that will be broadcast on a to-be-determined FM radio station with a one-mile range from the barge. Antushevich said that they wouldn’t know the station number until right before the event, however.

“The fireworks range is about a mile and a half — you can see the high ones — so that people as far as Kyte Monroe can watch them,” she said. “That’s what we aim for.”

As it has for the past five years, First State Bank has stepped up to be the major sponsor for the event, which costs $40,000 to put on.

“We’re a community bank, and the monies that we get from our depositors, we put into the same community in the forms of loans, and then we also support those communities,” said Kathleen Zenisek, marketing director for First State Bank. “It’s what a community bank does — it gives back.”

Wristbands for the show are being sold in advance at the St. Clair Shores Parks and Recreation Department, 20000 Stephens, for $2 each for residents and non-residents. Wristbands are also available at First State Bank locations. Parking passes, limited to the first 500 vehicles, are being sold at Parks and Recreation for $5 each. Visitors can also pay admission the day of the event, but parking must be purchased in advance to use the lot across Jefferson Avenue.

“Your parking place is guaranteed,” Antushevich said. “We’re not selling more than 500. You can come for the day and you can go home, and then you come back and you still have a parking spot.”

Gates will open at Veterans Memorial Park at 2 p.m. June 28 for the fireworks; no pets or alcohol are allowed. From 2-5 p.m. Outrageous Jams by Jamie will spin tunes by the gate; Elite Entertainment will take over in the band shell after that. First State Bank will also be bringing face painters for children of all ages.

“We’ve … perfected over the years, the people we have doing them can do them so darn fast and so darn good,” Zenisek said.

She said they enjoy volunteering to help with the fireworks because it’s a chance for the entire community to get together.

“It always turns out to be a gorgeous day,” she said.

The Activities Committee spends months planning and coordinating the event, along with finding sponsors to cover the cost of the show. Dozens of local businesses have stepped up to help this year. Mastro’s Ice Cream and National Coney Island will sell concessions and the Activities Committee will sell glow batons.

Organizers expect about 10,000 people to watch the show from the park that night, with thousands more watching from nearby boats, houses and other lakefront parks.

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