The 4th of July observances and Celebration on the Grand will be united into a two-day event on the first weekend of July each year. Since its inception in 1980 with the opening of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and the Amway Grand Hotel, Celebration on the Grand has been held in early September, with fireworks on a Friday night. The 4th of July celebration has always been on the 4th, whatever day of the week, with fireworks that night.
Amway, which has sponsored the July 4th fireworks display for the last several years, will continue its sponsorship, call the Amway Family Fireworks. Other activities are being organized to fill out the two-day schedule, which is expected to include free entertainment on Friday, July 4. This year, the fireworks will be after dusk on Saturday, July 5.
The changes are the result of a reconsideration of how events in the two celebrations could be continued, considering city and sponsor resources. “Creating a sustainable platform for patriotic events is the first step of the city’s new approach,” said Grand Rapids City Manager Greg Sundstom in a release announcing the changes.