Fireworks display is the grand finale for tonight’s celebration

December 31, 2013


LUDINGTON – Tonight’s the big night. Thousands of people are expected for the fifth annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in downtown Ludington. While the ball drop is the center piece of the evening, the grand finale is the fireworks display, ringing in the new year. The fireworks display is the result of the efforts of a small group of men who donate their time, and some of their own money.


Bruce Pelletier, Matt Bryant, Cody Bryant, Noah Laird and Scott Bearup is the group that has spent hours purchasing, sorting and setting up the fireworks and will brave the elements tonight, standing on the roof of Sportsman’s Bar, setting off the fireworks. The City of Ludington’s Downtown Ludington organization pays for a portion of the fireworks. The fireworks are purchased locally at Fireworks Depot on U.S. 10 in Amber Township.

This is the fourth year they have volunteered their time to shoot off fireworks. The show isn’t as grandiose as the area’s Fourth of July displays but it is still impressive.

“The big shows like Fourth of July use class B fireworks,” Matt Bryant said. “This show uses class C, which are legal for anyone to use in Michigan.” Legal, yes. But, still safer for a trained professional to launch.

“We use the smaller shells because we are launching the show from the rooftop of Sportsman’s Bar, plus we are downtown, which is a more confined space than downtown.”

The group are professional pyrotechnicians and set off many of the area’s fireworks displays.

“I just think it’s really neat for the community to get together like this and celebrate New Year’s Eve,” Bruce said. “We are really thankful to Mike and Julie Payment, owners of Sportsmans, for the use of their building. They treat us really well by bringing us food. We also get help from Tye’s Signs, they use their crane to load the fireworks on the roof.”

Story and photo by Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

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