After a long week of celebration and entertainment, the Coast Guard Festival wraps up every year with its grand finale — a fireworks display along the Grand Haven waterfront, which draws thousands of people from all across the state.
This year’s edition of the fireworks display, sponsored by Gun Lake Casino, promises to push the bar of expectations higher than it’s ever been in its 75 years of existence.
“This year’s display will be unparalleled in the history of fireworks in Grand Haven,” said festival Executive Director Mike Smith. “There will be new features involved that will explode your senses and change your vision of what fireworks are. “We’ve also added a Disney-like feature that will be added to the display that will greatly enhance the experience and is sure to be a crowd pleaser.”
The fireworks extravaganza starts as soon as the skies darken on the evening of Aug. 6. Fireworks are shot off from Dewey Hill across the channel and are accompanied by choreographed music from the Grand Haven Musical Fountain.
The mastermind behind the event is Roger Jonas, who frequently visits Pennsylvania to learn the latest and greatest in fireworks and pyrotechnics.
“We’ve got some great special effects this year,” he said. “It will be more exciting to start things up and we hope that will catch people’s attention as soon as the show begins.”
Jonas teams up with Pyrotecnico FX to produce the display. The company is one of the best in the pyrotechnic business, often choreographing displays for NFL and NBA teams, as well as musical concerts such as Nicki Minaj, Cochella and Zedd.
“We have been using them for our displays for the past few years and they are experienced and also put on a spectacular show,” Jonas said. “We send them music, and they choreograph the show based on that. We try and change that up every year, and they have never failed to deliver an excellent show.”
- The fireworks are contained in 6-inch shells that can travel more than 600 feet into the sky.
- The average cost for the display is $35,000.
- Approximately 6,000 individual fireworks will be set up during this year’s display.
- The program will be approximately 19 minutes in length.
- The grand finale will last approximately 30 seconds with an estimated 2,000 fireworks being let off during that time period.