Windsor·Video

Ford Fireworks to proceed on Aug. 31, but as televised-only event

The 2020 Ford Fireworks will proceed on Aug. 31, but members of the public won't be allowed to congregate in public spaces for viewing. 

Public spaces in Detroit will not be open for viewing

The annual Ford Fireworks celebration draws crowds of thousands of people on both sides of the Detroit River. (Steve Biro)

The 2020 Ford Fireworks will proceed on Aug. 31, but members of the public won't be allowed to congregate in public spaces for viewing. 

Unlike in previous years, the fireworks will be a televised-only event, broadcast on WDIV Local 4. Hart Plaza and other public spaces will not be open for viewing. 

During a Wednesday media conference, Tony Michaels, president and CEO of the Parade Company responsible for staging the fireworks show, said this year's fireworks will honour front-line workers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

"We started thinking about all the great people, the front-liners — including all the nurses, doctors, policemen, firemen, truck drivers, everyone involved in how great this city really is," Michaels said. 

WATCH | Detroit officials talk about the 2020 Ford Fireworks:

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year's Ford Fireworks are set to take place on Aug. 31. However, unlike in previous years, the fireworks will be a televised-only event. 1:30

"We had a thought that we could really bring, [not] people together, but hearts together."

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan previously confirmed in late April that the 2020 Ford Fireworks wouldn't move ahead on their previously scheduled June 22 date. 

"I'm not going to allow crowds of that size on the original schedule," Duggan said at the time. 

More details needed before deciding next step, says Windsor

State and city officials in Michigan plan on formulating public safety guidelines for this year's Ford Fireworks, "in the coming three months," according to a media release issued Wednesday. 

In Windsor, Andrew Teliszewsky, chief of staff for Mayor Drew Dilkens, said city administration "were all left with multiple questions," following the announcement, since U.S. officials didn't provide advance notice. 

... We plan to work with local and provincial public health staff to determine the best path forward.- Andrew Teliszewsky, Chief of Staff, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens

"I think we need to huddle in more detail with [Dr. Wajid Ahmed, the medical officer of health for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit], to be able to determine what actions (if any) should be taken on the part of the City of Windsor to ensure appropriate social distancing and public health regulations are respected while an event such as this transpires," wrote Teliszewsky in an email. 

"The move to Aug. 31 provides some time to sort out these details, and we plan to work with local and provincial public health staff to determine the best path forward."

Teliszewsky added that it's too soon to confirm any action that might be on the table, "simply because it is too soon to tell."

With files from Katerina Georgieva and Vince Robinet

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