June 04, 2014 - By Meg Peters
Review Staff Writer
The Lake Orion Fireworks Association (LOFA) made a few new changes for the 4th of July fireworks celebration.
The fireworks committee decided the show will be launched on the west side of Lake Orion from the bay southwest of the sandbar island at the LOFA meeting Thursday, May 29. Visit http://www.lakeorionfireworks.org/ to see a map of the site.
The Review printed in the May 28 edition there would be a Lake Orion Village public hearing to determine resident's interest in changing the location. However, the hearing was not approved at the council meeting May 27 after The Review went to press.
LOFA President Carl Cyrowski said the show will still be visible from Green's Park, and suggested viewers also look into watching from Pine Tree Elementary off of Pine Tree Rd.
Another option is to board the Princess, a 110 ft. entertainment cruise ship that will be out on the water during the show. For $100, residents can purchase a ticket to view the show including a dinner buffet at Christi's Bar and Grill beforehand and a moonlit cruise. The price includes a shuttle service too, and the party is BYOB.
LOFA will donate a three hour cruise on the Princess to local veterans for two separate rides Tuesday, July 2 compliments of the fireworks association. Veterans and their immediate families of Lake Orion, Oxford and Leonard have all been invited to the free midday and nighttime cruises.
The first cruise is scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 2, and the second cruise will be at 8 p.m. Local businesses have stepped forward to donate meals for both cruises. Any interested veterans should contact Dennis Miller at the American Legion at 248-693-2782.
LOFA is also renting out The Princess, available July 3rd, 6th and 7th for businesses or organizations interested in hosting an event. Contact LOFA at firstname.lastname@example.org for a reservation.
LOFA has raised about one-third of their funding for the show so far, which will be run by the same fireworks company as the year prior, Ace Pryo of Manchester.
About 1,300 mailers were sent out to residents who have donated in the past, and multiple businesses have agreed to sponsor the event.
LOFA is hosting the annual breakfast/brunch at the Lake Orion Boat Club on June 29 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. A free shuttle service will be offered from the dock on Lake Orion behind the Porritt Lighthouse building from across the McDonalds on M-24.
Because the location Ace Pyro submitted to LOFA is in township waters, only the township and Michigan DNR must approve the location. The township approved LOFA's location at the April 21 board meeting, and LOFA received the DNR permit shortly after.
"It's actually a safer site, we just can't shoot the larger rounds unfortunately," Cyrowski said, still promising new and edgy fireworks. The approved site allows six-inch rounds to be shot in a clearance of about 420 feet.
Ace Pyro suggested another site with larger clearance west of the Bellevue Bridge which was in village waters, however the public hearing that council members suggested for June 9 was past the deadline of ordering the fireworks in time for the 4th of July.
"The reason the council did that was the proposal location was on the other side of the lake, and they wanted to provide the public an opportunity to have input," Village Manager Darwin McClary said. "The fireworks are a huge event in the community and a very important event, and a beloved event."
The village council was not required to hold the public meeting, however the council was concerned how the change of location would affect the expectations the public has about the fireworks show, McClary said.
Last year over 800 tickets were sold for viewing from Green's Park.
About 100,000 people watched the show from all around the lake, and according to Village Police Chief Jerry Narsh, 10,000 people watched from Green's Park and surrounding downtown locations.
Cyrwoski said the fireworks committee preferred the Bellevue Bridge location because it would have allowed 8 inch shells, which are about 200 feet higher and 150 feet wider, however they are excited to move the fireworks to provide a chance for other areas of the lake to get a great view.
"Everybody on the lake has supported the show now for years, so this year we are going to give them an opportunity to have it in their back yard, which is fair I think," Cyrwoski said.
The fireworks committee would like to organize a mass lighting of Chinese candles along the shores of Lake Orion July 2 to honor the veterans trolling the lake on The Princess. If you are interested in helping their efforts, contact LOFA at email@example.com.