With a whiz and a bang to a patriotic soundtrack, Independence Day fireworks will be lighting up the skies over Jones Beach State Park in Wantagh beginning at 9:30 p.m. on July 4.
More than 100,000 spectators are expected to head to the beach and boardwalk to watch the Garden State Fireworks-produced pyrotechnics in a 25-minute display of more than 5,000 shells with a red, white and blue theme, says State Parks Regional Director George Gorman, Jr. Radio stations WALK 97.5 FM and KJOY-98.3 FM will simulcast music during the fireworks. The fireworks are included in parking admission, $10 per car.
Here's all you need to know about ways to see the fireworks spectacular:
TAKE THE BUS TO THE BEACH: On July 4, NICE (Nassau Inter-County Express) will be running buses to Jones Beach State Park on a regular weekend schedule. Beach-bound buses will leave from 8:28 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. every half-hour from the Freeport Long Island Rail Road station and on the hour beginning at 9:37 a.m. from the Hempstead Transit Center in Hempstead Village. Post-show return trips to Freeport and Hempstead will begin at the park’s West Bathhouse 30 minutes after the show -- and buses will return to the bathhouse until all passengers are picked up. Bus passengers are required to wear face coverings and are encouraged to maintain social distancing. More information is available at nicebus.com/Passenger-Information/Jones-Beach.
WATCH ON A BOAT: Watch with a drink in hand on a Fourth of July fireworks cruise. The 85-foot Captree Princess, Captree Pride and Island Spirit cruise from the Captree Boat Basin from 7 to 11 p.m. on July 4. “People can pack a little picnic,” says Capt. Robert Andresen. Coffee and cookies will be provided. Board from 6 to 6:30 p.m. at Captree State Park, 3500 Ocean Pkwy., Babylon. (631-859-8799, captreefleet.com, $60-$65)
In the mood for dancing under the stars? The Moon Chaser, a double-decker dinner boat with a DJ and room for 100 passengers, leaves Captee at 7:30 p.m. on July 4. Beer, wine, soda and cold appetizer platters will be available, a cash bar for liquor. Board at 7:15 p.m.; $66 for adults, $56 for children, 631-265-1848, themoonchaser.com.
Freeport Water Taxi & Tours' 44-foot, 28-passenger American Yacht catamaran leaves at 8 p.m. for a two-hour cruise including a cash bar. Board at 211 Woodcleft Ave., Freeport; $60 for adults, $40 for children, reservations required, 516-521-7744, freeportwatertaxi.com.
The Capt. Lou Fleet also offers July 4 fireworks cruises leaving from the Freeport Nautical Mile. Dance to DJ music and enjoy a cash bar aboard The Captain Lou VIl, an 85-foot cruiser with a covered upper deck, climate controlled cabin and galley ($75). Or take a dinner cruise on The Starstream VIII, a 100-foot super-cruiser ($120). Board at 7:45 p.m. for 8 p.m. departure at 31 Woodcleft Ave., Freeport. Reservations are required and can be made online at 516-623-5823 or captloufleet.com.
DINE AT A HISTORIC SITE: Watch the night sky light up from a seat at Gatsby on the Ocean, the restaurant and catering facility on the second floor of Jones Beach’s historic Art Deco West Bath House. The ballroom and the terrace dining areas offer ocean views and will be open throughout the fireworks show serving a special menu including baked clams, New York strip steak, lobster rolls and burrata salad (516-785-0012; gatsbyontheocean.com).
VIEW FROM A DIFFERENT PARK: See the fireworks from a different viewpoint on the pier and long shoreline at Wantagh Park (1 King Road, Wantagh, 516-571-7460) or at nearby Cedar Creek Park (3340 Merrick Rd., Seaford, 516-571-7470). Admission is free, but spectators are required to present proof of Nassau County residence. Nassau County residents with a Leisure Pass can see the show at the county’s Nickerson Beach Park, located on Long Beach west of Jones Beach. Parking costs $15. (880 Lido Blvd., Lido Beach, 516-571-7700).