Baroda: American Legion Post 345, 9214 1st St. Insiders claim this is one of the best fireworks displays in the Midwest. Be prepared to have thousands join you for this Baroda Fire Department color explosion. The pre-fireworks party starts at 7 p.m. and includes a beer and brat tent and music by The Top Secret Band. Tip: bring some cash. The community passes a firefighter’s boot to collect contributions to pay for next year’s display.
Baroda Round Barn Brewery & Public House 7th Annual Fireworks Party, 9151 First St. This is a very popular spot for patriots and patrons alike to see the Baroda fireworks. Enjoy live music, drinks and delicious BBQ. Gates open at 6 p.m. with P.T. and the Cruisers playing from 7 to 10 p.m.. General Admission is $5 cover, with a portion going toward the Baroda Township Fire Department to aid in their fundraising for an auto extraction cutter. Bring lawn chairs, but no outside beverages or food.
New Buffalo: Lions Beachfront Park and New Buffalo Beach. Celebrate Independence Day with a week filled with surfing demonstrations, specials at shops and restaurants, live music and fireworks.
Niles: Apple Festival Grounds, 17th St. between Lake and Eagle Streets. Festivities include food, music and kids’ activities before the sky show at dusk.
South Haven: North Beach. This beach town’s Light up the Lake Fireworks are launched from the pier so the entire South Haven shoreline has a view. Tune in to “Live on SuperHits” 103.7 COSY-FM for the synchronized soundtrack to make your patriotic pride swell even bigger.
St. Joseph: Silver Beach and Shadowland Pavilion. Improve your chances of snagging a parking spot and front-row seat by attending the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra’s annual patriotic concert. Just want to see the free fireworks? Arrive early to get a parking space in the paid lots near Silver Beach or in the above-the-bluff lots and curbside openings downtown. Then stake your viewing spot along the downtown bluff, on the public beaches (Silver Beach, Lions Park or Tiscornia), Whirlpool Centennial Park/Compass Fountain or in your boat on the St. Joseph River or Lake Michigan. A favorite tradition with families is to claim your spot, then take the kids for a ride at the Silver Beach Carousel. The Carousel has a concession stand where you can buy fresh popcorn, cotton candy, Dippin’ Dots ice cream, drinks and other treats if you don’t want to pack your own snacks for the spectacular light display that starts after sunset (this is a great venue for watching sunsets on Lake Michigan, too).
Edwardsburg, Eagle Lake and Juno Lake. Tip: Sponsors remind boaters to stay 500 feet away from the display barges.
Berrien Springs, Berrien Springs Middle School, 1 Sylvester Drive.
Pancake breakfast, 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Berrien Springs Public Safety Building.
Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration and Ice Cream Social, The History Center at Courthouse Square, 313 Cass St. in Berrien Springs. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. enjoy blacksmith demonstrations, log cabin living, and a concert by the Pipestone Irregulars. There will also be crafts, hopscotch and a three-legged race on the Berrien Springs Library grounds and a free ice cream social. Food vendors will also be on site. The Independence Day parade begins at 4 p.m. Parking is available at Sylvester and Mars Elementary Schools.
Eau Claire, W. Grand Ave., behind Grace Lutheran Church. The Cherry Festival fun culminates with this light-up-the-night display. Get here early, pick up a quart of fresh-picked sweet cherries and enjoy the flavor bursts each one makes in your mouth. Mmmm!
Cassopolis, Diamond Lake, Shore Acres Rd.
Dowagiac, Sister Lakes, Lions Clubhouse grounds, 66991 95th St.
Lawton, Summerfest, Lawton High School, 101 Blue Pride Dr. Craft car show, dunk tank, food trucks, 5K race, parade at 5 p.m., street dance and fireworks at dusk make this a small town good time!
More insider tips:
- Most displays begin at dusk (approximately 10:30 p.m. EDT).
- Plan to arrive long before sunset. Make sure everyone has on comfortable walking shoes – you may be parking several blocks away. Bring blankets or portable chairs to sit on, but leave your alcoholic beverages at home.
- Wear light-colored clothing and carry flashlights so you’re more visible as you walk back to your car after dark. Pack a jacket or sweatshirt for everyone if the temps are predicted to drop below 65 degrees after the sun goes down.
- Be patient when you leave the fireworks grounds. Public safety officers will work hard to keep traffic moving, but it may take longer to get home. If you’re not from the area, give serious thought to staying over. There’s never a shortage of things to do the next day in Southwest Michigan.
- Thinking of shooting off your own fireworks? Here is what is legal to celebrate with in Michigan. Have fun!