10 Towns with the Best 4th of July Fireworks in Northern Michigan

We asked our readers where to see the best 4th of July fireworks in Northern Michigan. This is what they said.

Best 4th of July Fireworks

First Place: Traverse City

Second Place: Frankfort/Elberta

Third Place: Northport

More Red Hot Best winners for Northern Michigan 4th of July fireworks in alphabetical order:

  • Boyne City
  • Crystal Mountain
  • Elk Rapids
  • Frankfort
  • Mackinac Island
  • Petoskey
  • Torch Lake

We chatted with fireworks guru Bruce Tyree who puts on the Traverse City show …

Fireworks may be one of the most traditional 4th of July traditions, but it takes some tech to pull off a show as elaborate as Traverse City’s July 4th spectacle. For starters, the whole display is choreographed to music—a custom blend of classic rock, country, jazz and the requisite patriotic favorites that Bruce starts assembling at least six months in advance.

Once he has a 30-minute mashup he’s satisfied with, he then loads the soundtrack into a proprietary software program that allows him to perfectly coordinate different pyrotechnics to every crescendo and cymbal crash. He can even run a simulation to get a sense of how it’s all going to look. When everything’s just so, he then outputs a “fire file” that will direct the whole show via a computer on the big night. Organizers will have plenty of speakers blaring Bruce’s custom mix if you want to take in the show with the sound included. Or he has a new app so you stream the soundtrack if you’re watching from beyond earshot of West Bay.

4th of July Vacation Ideas