Teen curfew to be in effect for Detroit fireworks show

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Crowds and comets will make their return to Detroit’s annual fireworks show Monday. So does the curfew for minors.

Detroit’s City Council approved earlier this month an ordinance to put the curfew in place for those 17 and younger who are unaccompanied by an adult. It’s similar to the curfew for the 2015 fireworks show.

Under the ordinance, the curfew will be in effect downtown from 8 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday. It will be enforced in the area bounded by Interstate 75, the Detroit River, the Lodge Freeway and Chene Street.

A plan to expand the curfew caused sparks to fly last year.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig called for a curfew for minors to start four days before the fireworks show. However, the plan was rejected after activists, teens and council members attacked it during a lengthy and emotionally charged council meeting.

Police officials said the curfew is in place to protect youngsters and enable police to focus on spectators’ safety.

“It’s just a way to limit the amount of children out on the street alone and allow us to address more serious issues instead of kids being out past curfew,” said Sgt. Michael Woody, a spokesman for the Detroit Police Department.

For a long time, the city has had an ordinance on the books establishing a curfew for minors. The fireworks curfew makes some changes to it.

Violating the ordinance is punishable by a fine of up to $500.

The 2016 Ford Fireworks is the unofficial kick-off to the Metro summer season. Hundreds of thousands are expected to gather downtown to catch the show, now in its 58th year.

The Ford Motor Co. has served as title sponsor since 2013. The annual fireworks show is produced by The Parade Company, a nonprofit that also produces the America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van.

This year’s fireworks show along the Detroit River is scheduled to begin at 9:48 p.m.

Woody said the department declines to provide specifics on its security plans. However, he said there will be an adequate number of officers and security.

“We just want to make sure everyone at the fireworks show is safe and everyone has a good time,” he said. “We want everyone to know the show is a great time to bring the whole family down.”


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If you go

The 58th annual Ford Fireworks begins 9:48 p.m. Monday

Ford Motor Co. will offer free admission to Belle Isle for the first 1,000 vehicles. Hart Plaza is the go-to spot for watching the fireworks downtown. There’s no admission cost, but expect crowds. No tents, alcohol or pets are allowed.

WJR-AM (760) will air a radio simulcast throughout Ford Fireworks. Morning announcer Paul W. Smith will host live coverage starting at 8 p.m.

WDIV-TV (Channel 4) will offer a live broadcast beginning at 7 p.m. The prime time special includes the annual Super Singer competition. “The Voice” finalist Laith Al-Saadi of Ann Arbor will join a panel of judges to pick the 2016 winner. The four semifinalists — Cherri Black of Redford, Byron Cancelmo of West Bloomfield, Grace Lee of Rochester and Brianna Seaborn of Detroit — will perform during the broadcast.