Ford Media Center

Ford Fireworks Ready to Add More Sparkle to a Star-Spangled Celebration of American Freedom Along the Detroit Riverfront

  • The Ford Fireworks will light up the sky over downtown Detroit on June 26, the 59th year of the spectacular community celebration of freedom in southeast Michigan
  • Detroit native and singer/songwriter/philanthropist Big Sean will join 2,000 Detroit-area students and families at L.I.T.E. Fest celebration at West Riverfront Park
  • Ford community outreach includes a special event for military veterans and families, vintage plane flyover, free Belle Isle access for 250 cars and Hart Plaza entertainment

DETROIT, June 22, 2017 – Ford Motor Company and southeast Michigan will celebrate American independence with the dazzling Ford Fireworks and an expanded community outreach for students and veterans along the downtown Detroit riverfront on Monday, June 26.

Ford Motor Company Fund is supporting a special event celebrating the accomplishments of Detroit area students. Called L.I.T.E. Fest — which stands for Lead, Innovate, Thrive and Elevate — the event at West Riverfront Park will honor a select group of 2,000 students and family members with entertainment, activities and food. Detroit native and singer/songwriter Big Sean will make a special appearance to recognize the students.

“The Ford Fireworks is a special community celebration that allows people of all ages and backgrounds to celebrate the renewed energy coming from our great city,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Ford is proud to show our ongoing commitment to Detroit and southeast Michigan by supporting this iconic tradition that has been going on for nearly 60 years.”

Produced by The Parade Company, the Ford Fireworks will feature greater pop and a longer show when more than 10,000 pyrotechnic effects light up the night sky beginning at 9:55 p.m.  The theme of this year’s Ford Fireworks is “Detroit! Right Now!” in recognition of the growth and progress being seen around the city. The Parade Company selects the music and works exclusively with Zambelli Fireworks Internationale to stage the pyrotechnics.

Ford activities at the Ford Fireworks include:

  • L.I.T.E. Fest: A special event and exclusive fireworks viewing location for 2,000 Detroit-area students and their families at West Riverfront Park, hosted by The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy.
  • American Flag Remix: More than 40 local middle school students gathered on Flag Day, June 14, and designed their own versions of what the American flag means to them. Four student artists whose flags were selected as winners will be honored at L.I.T.E Fest. The students, who are sharing $5,000 in scholarships, will also have their art projects featured on event displays and t-shirts.
  • Ford Focus on Freedom: Ford Fund will salute 200 current and former military members and their families during a special event at the Port Authority Building with a close-up view of the fireworks.
  • Vintage planes flyover: Ford is again working with the Yankee Air Museum to bring in World War II bombers and other historic aircraft to fly over the riverfront before the fireworks. The flyover is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
  • Ford Fireworks Rooftop Party: One of The Parade Company’s most popular fundraisers of the year, the event offers the best seats to view the fireworks. Guests attending the event will experience live music with Your Generation in concert on the main stage, food by Andiamo, plus games, giveaways and more for adults and kids. To learn more, visit or call 313-923-7400. All proceeds benefit the Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation.
  • Belle Isle passes: Ford is offering free admission to Belle Isle by providing Michigan Department of Natural Resources Recreation Passports for the first  250 cars. The $11 pass can be used at all participating state parks for the remainder of 2017.
  • Hart Plaza: Ford will sponsor live entertainment in Hart Plaza.

The Ford Fireworks can also be viewed on WDIV-Local 4’s live broadcast beginning at 8 p.m. News/Talk 760 WJR will do a special radio simulcast throughout the event and provide up-to-the-minute traffic and weather information throughout the day. People can also follow the event on social media at #fordfireworks and through the Ford Fund’s social sites on Facebook, Instagram @fordfund and Twitter @fordfund_. There will also be a special Snapchat filter.

Ford has been investing in Detroit since the company’s founding in 1903. Over the past 10 years, Ford and Ford Fund have donated more than $160 million to organizations throughout southeast Michigan, supporting education, safe driving and community life, including hunger relief and other essential services. 

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan, committed to helping build a better world, where every person is free to move and pursue their dreams.  The company’s Ford+ plan for growth and value creation combines existing strengths, new capabilities and always-on relationships with customers to enrich experiences for customers and deepen their loyalty.  Ford develops and delivers innovative, must-have Ford trucks, sport utility vehicles, commercial vans and cars and Lincoln luxury vehicles, along with connected services.  The company does that through three customer-centered business segments:  Ford Blue, engineering iconic gas-powered and hybrid vehicles; Ford Model e, inventing breakthrough EVs along with embedded software that defines exceptional digital experiences for all customers; and Ford Pro, helping commercial customers transform and expand their businesses with vehicles and services tailored to their needs.  Additionally, Ford is pursuing mobility solutions through Ford Next, and provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company.  Ford employs about 177,000 people worldwide.  More information about the company and its products and services is available at

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