4th of July at Greenfield Village

This 4th of July we decided to check out Greenfield Village’s “Salute to America” at The Henry Ford with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.


The village itself closed at 5pm and then they reopen the doors at 6pm for the after hours event. The tickets ran $24 for adults and $15 for the kids (members get an additional discount) so this wasn’t a cheap excursion by any means but we wanted to go for the unique experience.

The first thing we noticed was the line to get in… all the way out, around the corner, and down the street… not a total shock since its the 4th of July after all but it somehow seemed excessive. Once we rounded the corner we discovered that, like lemmings, the crowd blindly sat and waited for the 2 outer most entrances when there were something like 10 available. Using our “Disney strategy” of “always going left” we bypassed several hundred people and got into a line in the middle with literally only 6 people in front of us.


Once inside we discovered that all of the buildings were closed up which was a little disappointing but then again that’s not why we were there. I would have thought that at minimum the playground and carousel would have been open but alas …no luck there either.


They did, however, have “old-timey” games in the field for kids. The boys had fun pushing the hoop with a stick.


They also had several mini games to try out


Stilts, although no one could stay up on them lol


And the boys favorite was the Tops


They had a small drum and fife parade and we couldn’t understand the mad rush of the crowds past us. They skipped all of the games and were even walking with, in front of, and through the parade characters. We decided that maybe it was in our best interest to see what all the rush was about…


Naturally it was to get a good spot ….or just get a spot period. We managed to find a decent place to spread out on a hill off to the side. I got in, what I thought was a crazy long line for the food but it went relatively fast. They had a decent selection to choose from that wasn’t too outrageously priced (for an event such as this that is). Hot dogs and chips… then ice cream for dessert later.

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I have never seen the DSO before and I will admit I was impressed. The kids on the other hand, were getting restless with nowhere to go and nothing to do but sit around. After dark we all laid down on the blanket and stared off into space when all of a sudden….

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BOOM!!! They had live cannon fire for the finale which was quite literally right behind us. I nearly jumped 3 feet in the air which was no small feat since I was flat on my back. More and more cannon fire went off …it was slightly deafening as we were so close and could feel the concussion in your chest. I started laughing after the shock wore off. Very impressive to say the least we definitely had the best (or worst) seats in the house for that one.

And finally… the fireworks! The show itself was pretty short but the actual fireworks used were of the highest quality. I don’t know what it was about them but they seemed like LED lights in the sky they were so incredibly bright! The DSO continued to play and everyone stood together “ooh-ing and ahh-ing” right through to the grand finale.

I have to say that the Salute to America definitely delivered a great show. I think though, maybe next time, we will probably leave the kids at home and make it a date night instead. We packed up and go on the road fairly quickly and were home before we knew it… happy and exhausted!