What You Need to Know About Ford Fireworks

58th annual celebration happens over Detroit River Monday

Detroit and Windsor share a summer tradition Monday, with the 58th annual fireworks show over the Detroit River. Thousands of people are expected to line the waterfront to watch the pyrotechnic display, presented by Detroit’s Parade Company. CEO Tony Michaels tells WDET’s Pat Batcheller this year’s Ford Fireworks will have a few surprises. Michaels says the show will start at 9:48 p.m., almost 20 minutes earlier than its usual 10:06 start time. Last year, severe weather forced the Parade Company to start the show about an hour earlier. The National Weather Service is forecasting partly cloudy skies for this year’s display. Click on the audio player to hear the conversation.

Pat Batcheller


Viewing areas, street closures, parking option and curfew information announced





Hundreds of thousands of spectators will line the shores of the Detroit River to enjoy the Ford Fireworks on Monday, June 27.  To help make it an enjoyable experience for all, the City of Detroitand the State of Michigan will enforce access restrictions to Hart Plaza and Belle Isle.  Admittance onto Belle Isle and pedestrian set-up at Hart Plaza will not be permitted before 2 p.m. on June 27. 




The following locations have been identified as the best viewing sites:

Hart Plaza

Belle Isle (viewing from the MacArthur Bridge will not be permitted)

Mt. Elliott Park, Owens Park and Erma Henderson Park


Riverside Park will be CLOSED.


Hart Plaza


  • Hart Plaza will be open to the general public, but pedestrian set-ups and/or gatherings will not be permitted before 2 p.m. on June 27. 
  • Entry to Hart Plaza will close once it has reached desired capacity. There is No Re-Admittance once you leave Hart Plaza.
  • No tents allowed.
  • No alcohol, pets, or contraband (weapons, knives, etc.) will be allowed.
  • Flames or fires are prohibited, and cooking is prohibited.
  • Reserving an area in excess of the number of people currently in the group is prohibited.
  • Coolers and backpacks will be searched.


Belle Isle


  • Belle Isle will be closed on Monday, June 27 until 2 p.m.  At that time, the island will open to vehicular traffic only. 
  • Motorists will need the Recreation Passport to enter the island.  The passport, which is only needed for vehicles, may be purchased at the entrance for $11. The passport is $9 for out-of-state and international visitors for the day, and $31 for the year.
  • Once island capacity is reached (3000 vehicles), no additional vehicles will be admitted to the park.
  • The Island will open at 5 p.m. to pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • Alcohol consumption is prohibited on the island.
  • Tents and canopies should be 10 feet by 10 feet or smaller with no more than two tents or canopies per group.
  • RV parking will be on the paddock area near the Casino.
  • Consumer fireworks are prohibited on the island.




The Municipal Parking Department also will not enforce parking meters after 5 p.m. on June 27.However, motorists are advised to observe parking restrictions. Parking violators will be ticketed, and in some instances, vehicles may be towed.  Motorists will be ticketed for:


  • Improper parking (vehicles within 20 feet from crosswalk; within 15 feet from an intersection; within 30 feet of a stop sign or traffic control device; and within 15 feet of a fire hydrant)
  • Parking in designated zones, such as handicap zones (without proper credentials), fire lanes, no parking zones or no standing zones.


Parking Facilities and Lots


MPD will offer parking at the following City-owned garages and lots.


Ford Underground Garage                 6 a.m. – 1 a.m.                        $5 (minimum) – $15 (maximum)

30 E. Jefferson                                                                               $10 flat fee after 3 p.m.

Joe Louis Arena Garage                    6 a.m. – 1 a.m.                        $10

900 W. Jefferson


Millennium Garage                            24 hours                                  $10

432 W. Congress


Premier Garage                                24 hours                                   $5 (minimum) – $15 (maximum)

1206-08 Woodward Ave.                    No new customers after 11 p.m.             $10 flat fee after 3 p.m.



Grand Circus Park Garage                 24 hours                                  $5 (minimum) – $15 (maximum)

1601 Woodward Avenue


Fireworks viewing from any parking facility and tailgating are prohibited. For more information, call (313) 221-2500 or go online to www.detroitmi.gov/parking.




The following traffic changes will go into effect at approximately 6 p.m.:


  • No northbound or southbound traffic will be admitted onto Woodward Avenue between Fisher Freeway and Congress except for emergency vehicles, D-DOT and SMART bus coaches.
  • Jefferson Avenue will be closed to eastbound and westbound traffic between the Chrysler Freeway (I-375) and Griswold, except for emergency vehicles. All other eastbound vehicles will be routed north onto the Chrysler service drive.
  • West Jefferson from Cobo Center westbound will be closed. Parking will be prohibited on West Jefferson, on Civic Center Drive and on Atwater to St. Aubin.
  • Outbound traffic will be routed on West Jefferson from the Joe Louis Arena garage to Rosa Parks Boulevard; traffic will then proceed north on Rosa Parks to the freeways.
  • Traffic on Gratiot Avenue between I-375 and Randolph will be routed one way northbound only.
  • Traffic on Brush between Lafayette and Madison will be routed northeast onto Gratiot. Madison will be closed.
  • Monroe Street, between Randolph and Woodward Avenue, will be barricaded and closed. Traffic on Monroe between Randolph and I-375 will be routed to travel eastbound only.
  • Third Street at West Jefferson will be closed to the public and restricted for emergency vehicle use.
  • Fort Street traffic between Cabacier and Rosa Parks Boulevard will be restricted to residents of the Riverfront Towers Apartments/Condominiums.
  • Eastbound traffic on Fort Street will be allowed to turn right onto Griswold and proceed to the Lodge Freeway.
  • Traffic on Trumbull between W. Fort and Fisher Freeway will be routed to travel northbound only.
  • Traffic on Larned and Congress will be allowed to flow in respective directions, with no southbound turns except vehicles en route to the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel via Randolph.
  • Michigan Avenue traffic will be westbound only.
  • All traffic proceeding south on Griswold will be directed to the Lodge Freeway, via Congress.
  • Eastbound Lafayette traffic will turn right at Griswold and proceed to westbound Congress to northbound Lodge freeway.
  • St. Antoine traffic flow will be one way northbound from Atwater after the fireworks display.
  • Woodbridge, Franklin, and Atwater between St. Antoine and Rivard will be one way, eastbound throughout the evening.
  • Rivard will be one way northbound from Atwater to Lafayette after the fireworks display.
  • E. Grand Blvd. will be used for outbound traffic from Belle Isle. Belle Isle traffic will proceed northbound on East Grand Boulevard and eastbound on East Jefferson.
  • No parking on West Jefferson between 23rd and St. Anne.
  • All the main streets – Michigan, Grand River, Gratiot, E. Grand Blvd. and W. Grand Blvd. – will remain open to allow motorists access to freeways. Woodward will remain open north of the Fisher Freeway service drive.
  • Beginning at 2 p.m., surface streets south of Jefferson between Rivard and Jos. Campau will be closed to all vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Beginning at 6 p.m., freeways will begin to close. **
  • There will be no vehicular traffic south of Jefferson from Third to Joseph Campau.


**The Detroit Police Department reserves the right to request closure of the freeways and surfaces streets earlier or later, depending on the volume of vehicle traffic.




The City will enforce a curfew for minors, ages 17 and under, that will be in effect from 8 p.m. on June 27 until 6 a.m. on June 28 for the area bounded by the Detroit River, Third Street, Lodge Freeway, Fisher Freeway, the extension of Fisher Freeway east to Gratiot Avenue, Gratiot Avenue, Vernor Highway, Chene Street, Atwater Street and Chene Park.


Minors are welcome to view the fireworks from any approved public area.  However, for their safety, minors must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or other responsible adult (age 21 or over) if they choose to view from within the curfew boundaries. Minors will be allowed to travel to and from work, school, church or organized activities.   


Minors in violation of the curfew will be taken to the Coleman A. Young Recreation Center, 2751 Robert Bradby Drive.  Minors will be held there until picked up by a parent or guardian.  The parent or guardian also may receive a parental responsibility violation ticket.



       Parents can find lost children in the following locations:


  • Downtown – Cobo Center, Atwater Lounge (southeast corner of Atwater Atrium) – (313) 877-8064
  • East of 1-375 – Martin Luther King High School – 3200  E. Lafayette Blvd.
  • Southwest Area – Fourth Precinct – 4700 W. Fort Street – (313) 596-5400




Towed vehicles within the downtown area will be held at 2121 W. Fort Street.  Vehicles towed on Belle Isle will remain on the island. Free shuttles to tow lots will be available from 4 p.m. – 1 a.m. Tow lots close at 1 a.m.  The fee for towing is $215.                                                                        




For bus riders, the Detroit Department of Transportation issued these reminders:


  • On June 27 between 5 and 11 p.m., the following routes will end at the Bricktown People Mover Station on Beaubien between Congress and Lafayette.  The affected routes are #7 Cadillac-Harper, #10 Chene, #25 Jefferson, #34 Gratiot, #40 Russell and #48 Van Dyke. Passengers going to the Rosa Parks Transit Center should board the People Mover at the Bricktown Station and exit at Times Square Station.
  • Starting at 5 p.m., the Dexter (#16) and Woodward (#53) routes will end at the Rosa Parks Transit Center.
  • Passengers at the Rosa Parks Transit Center traveling east should board the People Mover at the Times Square Station and exit at the Bricktown Station to board eastbound coaches.Passengers must have a DDOT transfer to receive a People Mover token from DDOT personnel.


  • Passengers at the Rosa Parks Transit Center traveling east should board the People Mover at the Times Square Station and exit at the Bricktown Station to board eastbound coaches. There will be DDOT personnel to assist with tokens to ride the People Mover.


  • Additional service will be provided after the fireworks leaving downtown on an as-needed basis.
  • Coaches will depart from the Rosa Parks Transit Center westbound and eastbound until 1 a.m. as needed.
  • Coaches will depart from Bricktown People Mover Station on Beaubien between E. Congress and E. Lafayette (Eastbound Only) until 11 p.m.




The Detroit People Mover (DPM), which is expected to reopen this weekend, will operate from 6:30 a.m. – midnight. Financial District and Joe Louis Arena (via the RiverWalk) stations are within walking distance of Hart Plaza. Due to the early closures of the Millender and Renaissance centers, trains will bypass these facilities on June 27 beginning at 6 p.m. There will be no public access to these People Mover stations.  Patrons are asked to exit at the nearest available station.    All other DPM stations will remain open.




The People Mover fare is 75 cents per ride, and children ages five and under ride free. For more information, go online to www.thepeoplemover.com or call (313) 224-2160.


  • Pat Batcheller
    Pat Batcheller is a host and Senior News Editor for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news, traffic and weather updates during Morning Edition. He is an amateur musician.