BAY CITY (WJRT) -
(06/30/14) - It's arguably the largest fireworks celebration in the state of Michigan. Preparations are underway for this week's fifty-second annual Bay City Fireworks Festival.
"It's going to be a great show. We work all year long to get to this point," said Doug Clark, Fireworks Festival president.
Crews arrived early Monday morning to begin setting up the carnival on the west side of the Saginaw River and to tear down bleachers and tents left over over from this past weekend's River Roar.
"Vets Park is a busy place from the River Roar to the Fireworks Festival. We have a lot of things to take care of, a lot of things to take care of over the next couple of days so that the carnival will open up Wednesday morning," Clark said.
Fireworks shows run Thursday, Friday, and Saturday - and along with some new and improved explosives - there's a new an improved setup with spectators in mind.
"With the addition of the barge in the middle of the river, we're sort of spreading the show out a little more, east to west, to give everyone a vantage point around the whole city," Clark said.
For the first time ever, the festival is hosting a teen zone, complete with music and laser lights.
"Individual parties like a night club atmosphere for teenagers each night. Thursday night is going to be our glow party, Friday night will be our paint party, and Saturday will be our foam party," Clark said.
Also new this year - live music at the band shell on the east side of the river.
"We have a really good Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash tribute going on Thursday night. We've got the Beats and Sinclairs on Friday, a little bit more oldies, and then on Saturday, we have 50 Amp Fuse. They play all genres of music from Michael Jackson to AC/DC," Clark said.
This year's festival will cost around $300,000 to pull off, with 85,000 going toward the fireworks. The committee is still working hard to bring in some last minute funds.
"We get 75 percent of our money on the weekend of the event. That's what helps pay the bills, so we want people to come out and enjoy themselves, have a safe, fun, family entertainment, and we're going to put on a great event once again this year," Clark said.