Eisenhower Park lights up for Independence Day

Grucci-TD Bank performance marks 15th year


Rockets glowed red, yellow and white as they shot into the air above Eisenhower Park and erupted into multi-colored starburst shapes. Thousands of guests watched from their seats at the Harry Chapin Lakeside Theater, and spectators gathered at other spots around East Meadow on June 30 to view the 15th annual “Celebrate America” fireworks display, hosted by TD Bank and Fireworks by Grucci.

The event kicked off at 5 p.m. with a concert featuring the steampunk-style rock group the Eternal Frontier, ’60s pop tribute band the Mod Squad and ’70s pop and rock tribute band 45 RPM.

Tens of thousands could view the fireworks around East Meadow and, at a news conference before the event, County Executive Laura Curran said, “It’s really a performance more than anything else.”

Fireworks by Grucci dates back to 1850 in Italy, when the family began experimenting with pyrotechnics. The Gruccis brought the company to Elmont after immigrating to the U.S. in 1870, and Felix Grucci is now chief executive officer.

“It’s a heavy lift to put a program like this together,” he said before reminding residents to enjoy public displays rather than holding their own.

“Leave the fireworks to the professionals,” he said. “We spent a lot of time and effort on the safety of the product that we have here.”

Curran agreed, reminding residents of the County Legislature’s unanimous June 12 decision to ban sparkling devices. “Sparklers that seem like a lot of fun cause the majority of all fireworks injuries suffered by children under the age of 5 years old,” she said.

The State Legislature legalized the sale of sparklers outside New York City in 2014 — as long as they are sold between June 1 and July 5 and between Dec. 26 and Jan. 1. Gov. Andrew Cuomo authorized county governments to either adopt similar regulations or enact stricter policies, which Nassau County chose to do with the sparkler ban.