New date set for Festival of the Hills after poor air quality causes postponement

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published July 12, 2023

 The Festival of the Hills, which was postponed in June due to poor air quality, has been rescheduled for July 26 at Borden Park in Rochester Hills.

The Festival of the Hills, which was postponed in June due to poor air quality, has been rescheduled for July 26 at Borden Park in Rochester Hills.

File photo by Erin Sanchez

ROCHESTER HILLS — Hazardous air quality caused by the Canadian wildfires prompted city officials to postpone their annual Festival of the Hills fireworks show, which will now be held Wednesday, July 26.

Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett said the city made a decision to postpone the show to prioritize the well-being and safety of its residents.

“It was a very tough decision, because so much time and energy goes into planning this event … but, at the end of the day, you have to make a decision in the best interest of the health and safety of the residents,” he said. “Now we are excited to announce that we will be holding the event again.”

Despite the change in schedule, Barnett said the Festival of the Hills will retain all of the elements that make it a cherished event for families and friends — including the petting zoo, inflatables, activities and the Rochester Hills Public Library’s events.

All are invited to bring blankets and chairs to the July 26 event, which typically welcomes more than 50,000 attendees every year.

“We want residents to come out and have a great time,” he said. “We appreciate their understanding with the slight delay, but we know it will be a great event. We have a great show planned, great entertainment planned, and we just want to make sure Canada plays nice this time so we can have our show.”

This year’s free, family-friendly festival opens at 6 p.m. with music, a petting zoo, inflatables, food and more.

Starting at 7 p.m., families can grab their blankets and head over to the Blue Diamond Ball field for a special screening of “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.”

At 10 p.m. the night sky will come alive with what Barnett calls one of the most magnificent firework shows in the state.

“I think it should be a great event,” Barnett said. “We’re looking to host a huge crowd and appreciate our residents’ patience, as we wanted to do this the right way.”

Rochester Hills resident Beth Talbert said the Festival of the Hills is a favorite event for her and her husband.

“It’s just amazing. We go every year. We usually take a picnic and just hang out,” she said. “At least in my opinion, it’s the best fireworks show in our state. It doesn’t seem like summer without it.”

Alcohol, sparklers, fireworks, pets, motor homes, and remote control planes and drones are not allowed at the event.

Earl E. Borden Park is located at 1400 E. Hamlin Road in Rochester Hills. Residents can view a map of the park, along with traffic routes and available parking, at rochesterhills.org/foth.

For more information about the Festival of the Hills, call the festival hotline at (248) 841-BOOM or visit the official website at rochesterhills.org.