At 9:20 p.m. on July 4, Vinny Ang stepped to the microphone at Firemen’s Field and made the announcement thousands of people had been waiting for: the fireworks were about to begin.
The lights illuminating the football field and bleachers, which were filled with about 5,000 people, were shut off. Ang began the countdown at 10, and the crowd quickly joined in. On cue, the first fireworks soared into the air and exploded overhead, the beginning of a 20-minute show that drew many “oohs” and “aahs” from the crowd.
Fireworks of all colors shot up from the middle of the baseball field. When it was over, the crowd enthusiastically cheered.
An estimated crowd of 30,000 people gathered to watch Valley Stream’s annual Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular. While many came out to enjoy the event at Firemen’s Field, thousands of others watched from the streets surrounding the park. Residents in the neighborhood took advantage of their proximity to one of Long Island’s only professional fireworks shows actually held on July 4 to host parties and barbecues.
“We were the only big show in the area,” Ang said, “so a lot of people came to us. The streets were packed with people, pressed against the fence watching the show.”
Ang, the former village clerk who organizes the event, said it went off without a hitch. The fireworks show was co-sponsored by the Village Stream Chamber of Commerce.
The pyrotechnics were presented by Bay Fireworks. “They always put on a good show,” said Chamber President Debbi Gyulay, “but this year was better.”
Amanda Johnson, 16, of Valley Stream, said she has been coming to the show for years to watch the fireworks but this was her first time buying tickets to get in to Firemen’s Field. The $7 was well worth it, she said, as she enjoyed the evening with her friends Kajae Francis, 16, and Humza Faiz, 15. “I think it’s a nice community event,” Johnson said.