Ford Fireworks on the Windsor riverfront Monday.
Nick Brancaccio / Windsor Star
Thousands of people lined both sides of the Detroit River Monday night as more than 10,000 fireworks flooded the sky.In just 24 minutes, thousands of fireworks shot into the sky over the Canadian-American border for the 61st annual Ford Fireworks on Monday night. Despite threat of a thunderstorm, show producers from The Parade Company acted in accordance with this year’s theme, Detroit. Ready! Set! Go! and went forward with the dazzling light display.“We created everything bigger, bolder, more fireworks in that 24 minutes than people have ever seen before,” said Tony Michaels, CEO of The Parade Company.By 2 p.m. on Monday, crowds of people were already starting to line the waterfront for the perfect viewing spot. Just last year, for the 60th firework show, almost one million people flocked to Windsor’s waterfront.Among them was Guelph resident Ron McMillan, 68, who said that it was his first time — but evidently not his last.“I just enjoy the colours and the noise,” said McMillan. “The pounding in your chest.”McMillan said he loves firework shows so much that he’s made it a point to travel far and wide to catch some of the most amazing shows, including Ottawa’s fireworks display for Canada 150.
Ron McMillan, left, and Alan Morrell, from Guelph, staked their ground early as they wait for the start of the Ford Fireworks, Monday, June 24, 2019.
Dax Melmer /
With the Ford Fireworks show hailing itself as the largest North American firework display, McMillan knew he had go.I just enjoy the colours and the noiseThis year, his friend Alan Morrell joined him. Morrell, 84, and his wife spent three hours driving down from Guelph to catch the “spectacular” show for his very first time. And Morrell said there’s a “good chance” he’ll be back to watch more.Both McMillan and Morrell, who were joined by their wives, set up lawn chairs and blankets on Windsor’s waterfront several hours ahead of the event.The show, which began at 9:55 p.m. had fireworks shoot out of three barges, located in the water in front of Detroit’s Renaissance Center. The fireworks burst and clashed in sync to music.Michaels said the music that accompanied the start and end of this year’s event was selected to set a sentimental tone for viewers.“It takes us months to produce this, it’s a very very very big project,” Michaels said.The Ford Fireworks, formerly known as the International Freedom Festival, began in 1958 in celebration of both Canada Day (then known as Dominion Day) on July 1 and the United State’s Independence Day on July 4.Related