The City of Grand Rapids today announced that Celebration on the Grand and the Fourth of July fireworks are being combined into a two-day event to be held annually the first Friday and Saturday of July.

With the shift, this year’s Celebration on the Grand activities will be held the evening of Friday, July 4. The Amway Family Fireworks event will cap off the event shortly after dusk Saturday, July 5. In addition, admission remains free to both downtown Grand Rapids events.

Photo Courtesy of Amway

While details for each day are still being determined, it’s expected that many activities will remain the same as in years past for both events.

The move, welcomed by organizers of both events, is part of the city’s efforts to create a sustainable model for special events in Grand Rapids.

“Creating a sustainable platform for patriotic events is the first step of the city’s new approach,” Grand Rapids City Manager Greg Sundstrom said. “This partnership exemplifies the collaborative investment model we are developing to help create a solid financial platform for all special events.”

With the partnership, for the first time the city is putting Celebration on the Grand and Amway Family Fourth of July Fireworks display under its sponsored patriotic events category, along with celebrations and festivities for Memorial and Veteran’s days.

“The city’s partnership with Celebration on the Grand, Amway, Townsquare Media and other partners will ensure the Fourth of July fireworks and Celebration on the Grand events are sustainable,” Sundstrom said.

“Celebration on the Grand is pleased to be part of this new patriotic weekend,” 2014 Celebration on the Grand Co-Chairperson Sarah Noble said. “Our event will continue providing free entertainment on Friday to celebrate the City of Grand Rapids.”

The same goes for the Fourth of July fireworks, sponsored by Amway the past three years.

The Amway Family Fireworks event is offering family activities in the early afternoon and concerts and other entertainment in the evening, followed by the fireworks display at dusk. Townsquare Media Grand Rapids is again media sponsor and producer of all entertainment for the event.

“Amway is once again proud to sponsor Family Fireworks in celebration of our nation’s independence,” said David Madiol, Amway’s West Michigan community relations manager. “Aligning closer to Celebration on the Grand is very fitting for Amway, as we were intimately involved in the original Celebration event.”

Celebration on the Grand got its start in 1980 to help celebrating the openings of the Amway Grand Plaza hotel and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.

Townsquare Media Grand Rapids owns and operates 97.9 WGRD; Channel 95.7; 100.5 The River; Classic Hits 98.7 WFGR; and 1410 AM The Touch

A slide-show Look at Amway Family Fireworks event from July 4, 2013, in Grand Rapids