Ready, set, boom: Get ready for Ford fireworks
Monday evening’s Ford Fireworks over the Detroit River should be a dazzling sensation. Here are a few fun facts:
Who’s in charge?
The Parade Company, best known for the Thanksgiving parade, handles all aspects of the Ford Fireworks.
How many fireworks are involved?
About 10,000 — according to Tony Michaels, Parade Company president and CEO -- the most ever launched over the Detroit River.
Who actually lights the fireworks?
A computer program run by Patrick Brault atop the Center Parking Garage, where Ford’s rooftop party will be held.
Brault, who choreographed both the pyrotechnics and musical accompaniment, has been lighting up Detroit since 2009. He even handled the show at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
How many barges launch fireworks?
Three, which on Friday were still being loaded. Tony Michaels says it will take about three days to fully load the barges, which are anchored just west of Joe Louis Arena.
Even though everything’s wire-connected and computerized, each barge on Monday will have two or three people on board to make sure everything goes according to plan.
“And no,” Michaels said. “I won’t be one of them.”
Where do the fireworks come from?
Zambelli Fireworks, a family business in New Castle, Penn., that’s lit up holiday celebrations around the country as well as President Reagan’s inauguration and last year’s New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square.
When the Zambelli truck arrives in Detroit, Michaels says, the Michigan State Police guard the unloading.
Who starts a fireworks business anyway?
Antonio Zambelli moved to the United States in 1893, packing a “little black book” filled with his family’s secret fireworks recipes.
How long is Monday night’s presentation?
Twenty-four minutes, Michaels says, “timed to the second.” Previous displays ran 15-20 minutes.
The fun starts at 9:55 p.m. “People will need to have their seat belts on at the beginning,” he promised. “It’s going to come out loud and roaring.”
9:55 p.m. Monday