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For Tony Michaels and the rest of The Parade Company team, the 57th Ford Fireworks is the official kickoff of summer in Detroit.

“It’s going to be one of the biggest, brightest and best ever,” said Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Company, which produces the annual event, said to be one of the world’s largest and most well-attended fireworks displays.

While Fourth of July fireworks may be one of the oldest American traditions, Detroit’s Parade Company always has something new up its proverbial sleeve. This year, the theme of “Colors of Love” has a special meaning because the fireworks will have a new hue added to the mix, Michaels said. He refused to reveal the color ahead of time, saying the surprise had to wait until the night of June 22.

The fireworks also will be a minute longer, Michaels said, taking the show up to 24 minutes in total. That 60-second addition may not seem like much, but it is significant in the planning of such a monumental event, he noted.

“It takes an amazing amount of collaboration to pull off an event this huge,” Michaels said. “That’s why we are so proud that it is free to the public. It means so much to so many people. And it’s a great way to enjoy Detroit and bring people here to see the great things happening in the city.”

The Parade Company selects the musical arrangement that Zambelli Fireworks Internationale will stage with more than 10,000 pyrotechnic effects along the Detroit River. Michaels said this year’s show will be choreographed again by the world-renowned Patrick Brault, who has years of experience designing pyrotechnic displays, including the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Ford Motor Co. is now in its second year as title sponsor and as presenting sponsor of The Parade Company’s Rooftop Party, one of The Parade Company’s largest fundraising events. It is sold out already, Michaels said, making this year’s celebration even sweeter.

“The fireworks are stronger than ever with the great support from Ford Motor Company. It’s been great teaming up with them and our other sponsors,” Michaels added.

Karen Dybis is a Metro Detroit freelance writer.

Ford Fireworks

10:06 p.m. Monday

Rain Date: Tuesday

Theme: “Colors of Love”

Length: 24 minutes (one additional minute this year)

TV coverage: WDIV Channel 4

Radio: News/Talk 760 WJR-AM

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