Grosse Pointe Woods to move fireworks to Lake Front Park

By: April Lehmbeck | Grosse Pointe Times | Published December 2, 2014

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GROSSE POINTE WOODS — The unruly crowds and multiple fights at last year’s fireworks event, which officials said included gang members, prompted a reconsideration of the Grosse Pointe Woods fireworks, and now the City Council has approved a big change for next year’s event.

The city will move the event from Parcells Middle School to Lake Front Park, a park that limits entry to Woods residents and guests, which would limit the crowd. It’s also a move that will take the fireworks from an area that allowed many Woods families to host backyard gatherings while enjoying the fireworks.

During the Dec. 1 meeting, the City Council voted unanimously in favor of forging ahead with plans to host the event at the park. The administration had researched the feasibility of moving the fireworks to the park, and the council had discussed it during committee of the whole meetings.

“The primary issue from my point of view is safety,” Council member Todd McConaghy said.

He said he feels the move is the best choice for the residents, and he likes the possibility of having a family-fun day with picnicking and family activities in conjunction with the event.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” he said.

While the City Council approved hosting the fireworks at the park, there have been some concerns from council members.

“I think there’s still a lot that we have to talk about,” Mayor Robert Novitke said.

Cost is one area that Novitke has some concerns about, and whether the money would be better spent on some other functions in the city for families.

He also isn’t sure if they’ll get the same level of sponsorship at the new venue.

Despite his concerns, he said he is not opposing the wishes of the council.

“We’re going to do our best to make sure it works and it’s a great event,” Novitke said.

Council member Vicki Granger said her thinking is similar to Novitke’s in that she still has some concerns.

While the administration believes there is enough parking for the event, Granger said parking is one of her concerns.

Yet, she is in favor of moving ahead with the next phase of planning.

“We have had residents who asked us to take a look at it and try it,” she said. “We’ll see how it goes.”

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