GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Organizers are gearing up for another big Independence Day celebration in Grand Rapids.
This is the third year Amway has sponsored the fireworks show. This year also brings some changes to the program.
As part of the celebration, 60 people will be sworn is as United States citizens during a naturalization ceremony. It will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, just before the entertainment begins.
"This going to be a really neat ceremony," says David Madiol, Amway Corporation, manager of community relations for Amway Corporation. "They actually open up a federal court right on the grounds at 6 p.m., and go through a number of rituals like the flag color guard. They sing the national anthem and swear in these 60 folks from West Michigan. We are really excited about that."
Madiol says Amway, the major sponsor, stands for American Way. And they believe it is fitting to spend the nation's birthday helping residents become American citizens.
"After that is when the live entertainment begins," says Madiol. "We have a number of different bands -- and actually one different Cirque de Soleil act as well that will probably start around 6:30 p.m. and run right until the fireworks at 10:30 p.m. We have a mix of music country, jazz infused soul band, and a rock cover band as well.
"There are tents for the kids and some fun things to do down there. Food booths as well. It is definitely going to be entertaining."
Unfortunately, the Fourth of July parade has been cancelled. Turnout hasn't been that strong in the past two years. As a result, organizers did not have enough people interested in participating.
However, there will be more than a dozen parades in the area on that day so people in West Michigan will be able to attend Independence Day parades elsewhere.
For more Information, on the third annual Amway Fourth of July Family Fireworks Celebration click here.