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Local News / Entertainment

Sunday, 4 July, 2010 1:30 AM

Target Fireworks cap off the River Days celebration in Detroit

Actors Jackson Rathbone and Nicola Peltz appear to promote new film, The Last Airbender

PHOTO BY MICHELE K. / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Target Fireworks lit up the Detroit River on Monday, June 21.
by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

DETROIT -- It has been four days of fun and excitement along Detroit's beautiful riverfront bordering Windsor, Ontario. On the Detroit side of the border, it was River Days. Attendees were treated to free musical performances by Lonestar, The Spin Doctors, Kimmie Horn, MC Hammer, The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Blues Traveler and Twistin Tarantulas. On the Windsor side of the border, it was the Summerfest. Both sides of the riverfront enjoyed the 25-minute Target Fireworks display, which took place over three barges.

"It's fun, actually, I'm having a blast," said Christen McBride of Sterling Heights, who was attending the Flip Floppin Summer VIP Rooftop Party. "It's like I'm a little kid again. I've never had this much fun since I was little."

It was the 52nd time that the fireworks have been ignited over the Detroit River. Over 10,000 explosions were required to make the show possible. The show was designed by Patrick Brault, creative director of Zambelli Fireworks. More than 1 million people were estimated to see the fireworks on the Detroit side of the border.

"I think it just brings both countries together," said WDIV-TV news anchor Carmen Harlan. "You've got people on both sides of the river that line up to come down and take part in an event that they look forward to every year. It kicks off the summer season in such a wonderful way. It's one of the most spectacular shows in the country. We have it right here in Detroit and it's free. You can't beat that."

People started arriving early on Monday morning to select their prime viewing spot. It all began with the American and Canadian helicopter flag flyover at 10:05 p.m. The fireworks show started at 10:10 p.m. and lasted until 10:35 p.m.

"I've been coming here a number of years, it's hard to keep track," said Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano. "I started as sheriff and continued on as county executive. It's great because it shows off the city. It emphasizes that we're an international border, which is becoming more and more important. It's close to a million people that come down here just to witness it."

A total of 32 medical responders including two doctors, seven medical students and a physician were on hand in case the need arose. Eight EMS trucks and private ambulances were also on site for attendee who needed medical attention.

"This is our fourth year of going here," said David Markiewicz of Shelby Township, who was attending the VIP Rooftop Party. "Everything's been wonderful. The food's been great. Loving the cupcakes this year, the dessert table is to die for. The fireworks and the grand finale is one of the best in the country. If you're not here, hopefully you're here next year."

Editors at The Windsor Star newspaper have suggested to make the fireworks take place on a weekend instead of a Monday night in order to encourage higher attendance figures on both sides of the border.

"I love seeing downtown this way, lots of people down here having a good time," said WDIV-TV news anchor Devin Scillian, who has been covering the fireworks for the last 15 years. "I love the way the fireworks energize people. I love watching them light up the buildings downtown. I think it's more fun to watch the reflections on the buildings than it is the fireworks."

Stars from The Last Airbender appeared to promote their new film

Actors Jackson Rathbone and Nicola Peltz came to the VIP Rooftop Party to meet their fans, pose for pictures and sign autographs. Peltz plays the character of Katara, a waterbender, and Rathbone plays her brother, Sokka, in the movie. The Last Airbender tells the story of four nations tied by destiny when the Fire Nation launches a brutal war against the others.

Peltz has also starred in Deck the Halls (2006), Harold (2008) and Righteous Kill (2008). She attended the Professional Children's School in New York City.

"It was amazing, a dream come true," Peltz said of being in the movie. "I've watched the series beforehand. To work with Night was definitely a big, big dream come true. I'm actually in a film called Unbound Captives. It's going to start shooting next year. Madeline Stowe is going to direct it. It's with Robert Pattinson, Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz."

Rathbone attended the Interlochen Arts Academy in northern Michigan. His band, 100 Monkeys, performed a show at The Shelter in Detroit a few months back.

"It's nice to be here at the fireworks display in Detroit, I love it," Rathbone said. "M, Night Shamalayan is one of those directors you wait for his next film to come out. He's amazing like that. To get to be a part of his next film is incredible. There's a lot of martial arts, a lot of action in this film. We did months of boot camp to study the mixed martial arts. I studied kung fu, martial arts and grappling. I'm actually working with my band, 100 Monkeys. We're going to be releasing a brand new single July 7 on all digital marketplaces. We'll be releasing a live album July 20 once again on all digital marketplaces like iTunes, Amazon, everything like that."

The actor said he would like to do his next film in Michigan with the state's new 42 percent tax incentive.

"I think it's an amazing program what Michigan's doing for film," Rathbone responded. "I hope that Michigan gets a lot of work out of it."

The Last Airbender opens in theaters nationwide on July 2. It was written, directed and produced by M. Night Shamalayan.

 

PHOTO BY MICHELE K. / ©AMERICAJR.com

Jackson Rathbone and Nicola Peltz, stars of The Last Airbender, were available for photos and autographs.

 

PHOTO BY MICHELE K. / ©AMERICAJR.com

Orange County Real Housewife Tamra Barney poses for photos with attendees.

 

PHOTO BY MICHELE K. / ©AMERICAJR.com

Alto Reed performs at the Target Fireworks VIP Rooftop Party.

 

PHOTO BY MICHELE K. / ©AMERICAJR.com

AmericaJR.com's Jason Rzucidlo interviews WDIV Local 4 anchor Devin Scillian.

 

PHOTO BY MICHELE K. / ©AMERICAJR.com

AmericaJR.com's Jason Rzucidlo interviews WDIV Local 4 anchor Carmen Harlan.

 

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