Changes coming to Grosse Pointe Farms’ fireworks display this year

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published May 13, 2022

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GROSSE POINTE FARMS — The fireworks display in Grosse Pointe Farms will look, and sound, a bit different this year.

The Parks and Recreation Department is planning to hold its second annual End of Summer Bash Sept. 3 — with a rain date of Sept. 4 — and the event will once again conclude with a barge-based fireworks display on Lake St. Clair at dusk. However, the city will be using a different vendor and different fireworks shell sizes.

The Grosse Pointe Farms City Council voted unanimously in favor of a bid from American Fireworks Co. to provide the display at a cost of $32,500. Last year’s vendor was Great Lakes Fireworks.

“So, we’re going with a new vendor this time … because we’re seeing a significant increase in cost?” City Councilman Neil Sroka asked.

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Derrick Kozicki acknowledged that this was the case.

“We were notified early in the year the cost of fireworks was going up 30% industry-wide,” Kozicki said.

To keep the show the same, he said, the city increased its fireworks budget by 30% and asked each vendor to make a proposal and “break out their costs” so city officials could see where their dollars were going.

Kozicki said they’ll be getting “almost triple the number” of fireworks with this vendor, but the shells will be smaller — none will be larger than 6 inches. The use of larger shells is being phased out because of increasing costs from international shipping rules, he said.

“That’s what most communities are doing,” Kozicki said of moving to smaller shells.

The city had previously used 8-inch to 10-inch shells, he said. Even though the shells will be smaller, Kozicki said the show will be “just as nice.”

American Fireworks Co. is based in Hudson, Ohio, but has offices in Michigan, Virginia and West Virginia, as well. It was established in 1902.

One new aspect of this show will be music synchronized to the display. At press time, Kozicki said he wasn’t sure if people would be able to sync to the audio remotely.

Kozicki said this company has done fireworks displays for a number of local communities, including St. Clair Shores, St. Clair and Rochester Hills.

“(The St. Clair Shores) parks and recreation director was very excited to recommend them,” Kozicki said. “It should be a very nice time.”

The show is expected to last 23 to 25 minutes. It will once again be launched from a barge just north of Pier Park.

The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Coast Guard will have boats and personnel in the water that evening to keep boaters a safe distance from the fireworks barge and to prevent them from swamping the barge, Kozicki said.