DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. has signed a multi-million-dollar deal to become the title sponsor of Detroit's annual fireworks display for the next three years.
Target Corp., which had been the title sponsor of the fireworks for all but one of the past 12 years, will shift to presenting sponsor for 2013.
The Ford Fireworks presented by Target are set for June 24 this year.
In 2014 and 2015, the event will be known as The Ford Fireworks.
Created and produced by The Parade Company, the 55-year-old fireworks display attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators on both the U.S. and Canadian sides of the Detroit River.
"Events like this bring everyone together...(and) reach a lot of the people who have helped us be successful, whether its employees, dealers, suppliers or customers," said Jim Vella, president of the Ford Motor Co. Fund and Community Services.
The automaker will celebrate its 110th anniversary in June and Henry Ford's 150th birthday in July.
"Ford is deeply committed to Detroit and our community, and iconic events like the fireworks bring people together to celebrate our great city," Vella said.
As part of the multi-million-dollar deal, Ford has also signed on as presenting sponsor of the rooftop fundraising party hosted for the fireworks each year by The Parade Co. and its black-tie, Hob Nobble Gobble fundraiser which takes place each November before America's Thanksgiving Parade.
The fireworks and parade are among the largest and most visible and largest spectator events in the region, Vella said.
"It obviously made a lot of sense for us as part of our ongoing commitment to the community which is our hometown."
The carmaker will sponsor a new float in this year's parade and provide Ford vehicles for use in pulling the parade floats, as it has done for the past several years.
In tandem with its title sponsorship of the fireworks, Ford Motor Co. Fund plans in June to launch a new local community outreach program to raise money for Folds of Honor Foundation, a national veterans organization that provides scholarships and other assistance to the children and spouses of members of the military who were either killed or severely injured in the line of duty.
"As we celebrate our independence and freedom, Ford wants to join with the community to honor those in the military who make it possible," Vella said.
"In addition to sponsoring the fireworks to make them available to the community...we also want to work with the community to meet a community need."
Ford will promote the campaign through television and radio spots and social media and match public contributions to the effort.
The funds collected during the effort will go to support the families of Michigan service men and women, Vella said.
Fireworks attendees will be able to send a message of thanks to active members of the military overseas by filling out postcards that will be distributed by the American Red Cross, Southeastern Michigan Region.
The program will run parallel with the fireworks just as the Feeding the Hungry program launched two years ago with The Parade Co. and Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan runs parallel with America's Thanksgiving Parade.