Detroit’s Ford Fireworks to be held Aug. 31 as TV-only display without crowds

Coronavirus (COVID-19) forces changes to planned fireworks

The 2019 Ford Fireworks on the Detroit River. (WDIV)

DETROIT – Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced the annual Ford Fireworks will be held on Monday, Aug. 31, without crowds, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The event, typically held in late June to celebrate upcoming Canada Day and the Fourth of July, brings thousands of Metro Detroit residents to the Detroit Riverfront to enjoy the show. The show was scheduled for June 22 this year.

This year’s event will be a televised-only display without the usual crowds on the Riverfront and around Downtown Detroit. The special broadcast on WDIV Local 4 will honor frontline workers and heroes of the COVID-19 crisis.

“Detroit is one of the most remarkable and resilient cities in America and we are proud to bring the Ford Fireworks to our community in a very special way this year,” said Tony Michaels, President and CEO, The Parade Company. “We have an unwavering commitment to this tradition, which has brought us together as one for over six decades, and are grateful to Mayor Duggan, the City of Detroit, WDIV Local 4 and our many amazing partners who are joining efforts to make this possible.”

“The valiant and selfless efforts of our health care workers and first responders has been one of the bright spots for our region during this very difficult time,” said Mary Culler, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “The Ford Fireworks this year will honor them and their brave work.”

This year’s Ford Fireworks show is themed, “We Are One Together.” The Parade Company’s Rooftop Party presented by Ford, one of the non-profit’s largest fundraisers, will not occur this year. Additional details will be announced in the coming months.

WATCH: 2019 Ford Fireworks on Detroit River

While Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer hinted that residents across the state might soon be able to gather in groups of 10, it’s unclear when crowds as large as those usually attending the fireworks will be allowed again.

Two of the state’s eight regions outlined in Whitmer’s reopening plan will be allowed to reopen restaurants and bars at half capacity Friday, but Metro Detroit is still under a stay-at-home order and in the “flattening” phase.

About the Authors:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.