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Long Island

Eisenhower fireworks illuminate night

It was a family affair as fireworks lit up the night Saturday at Nassau County's Eisenhower Park.

Grandparents came with grandkids. Mothers with children. Friends with friends.

So crowded was the event - thousands sat on blankets and lawn chairs - that people driving to East Meadow's Eisenhower were being redirected to park at nearby Nassau Community College, hours before the show was even to begin.

Wally Reetz, 57, of Westbury, came with his wife, daughter, three grandkids and some neighbors. They arrived nearly three hours before showtime but had to park on a side street and walk to the park.

"The Fourth of July is all about the family, barbecue and fireworks," Reetz said.

Last night's Fireworks by Grucci show was choreographed to music on WALK/97.5 FM and included heart-shaped displays and multicolored bursts.

Before the show, tribute bands entertained the audience, one playing such hits as Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl."

"We're here for the fireworks," said Laquana Griffin of Hempstead, who came with two friends, her godson and her two daughters, 3 and 5. "We were in Manhattan last year. But this time we decided to stick closer to home."

Oceanside's Danielle Reed, 22, kicked off the festivities early in the evening with a rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

The singer and aspiring music teacher, who had sung the national anthem at Eisenhower Park's July Fourth festivities in years past, plans to belt out the song again, at a celebration in Long Beach Sunday.

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