People watch as fireworks light the sky at the TD...

People watch as fireworks light the sky at the TD Bank "Celebrate America" fireworks show at Eisenhower Park. (June 27, 2009) Credit: Newsday / Karen Wiles Stab

To those frustrated by cancellation of Fourth of July fireworks at Jones Beach, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano Thursday offered an alternative: Come to Eisenhower Park on July 3 for the county's seventh annual display of dazzling pyrotechnics.

But there was a hitch in his offer - no one had figured out how to accommodate extra people at an event that usually attracts a capacity crowd of 30,000 to the park and a nearby overflow area.

On top of that, prospects for bumper-to-bumper jams on the Meadowbrook Parkway pose an additional complication. The Nassau Coliseum Fair, less than a mile west of the park, has its own fireworks display that same night, to begin immediately after the county's.

By day's end Thursday - after two days of inquiries by Newsday - the county had come up with a plan to handle additional crowds and vehicles, saying it will allow parking along streets and in lots throughout Mitchel Field.

"We'll have police officers there to give people the opportunity to park their cars," said Det. Sgt. Anthony Repalone, a police spokesman. "We are expecting additional people, but we are confident that we should be able to accommodate them."

Besides parking lots at Nassau Community College used for past fireworks shows, police said they will allow overflow parking in lots along Museum Row and on the shoulders of Earl Ovington Boulevard and other area access roads.

Repalone had no estimate of how many additional people could be accommodated in the expanded parking areas.

This week, Mangano spokesman Michael Martino said officials were not concerned about extra crowds and that once the park was full, people trying to attend the display would be turned away by police. At the end of the afternoon Thursday, Martino said police were working out a parking plan, which later was outlined by Repalone.

Meanwhile, the State Police - who patrol the Meadowbrook Parkway - said they weren't in the know about Mangano's invitation to fireworks-watchers. The state Department of Transportation, Nassau Community College, museums at Mitchel Field and the private vendor running the fair at the Coliseum said they had not been informed, either.

State Police Capt. Jamie Kaminski, the zone commander for Nassau County, said he hadn't heard about Mangano's invitation but now will assign more troopers to try to keep traffic moving on the Meadowbrook Parkway and keep the roadway's shoulders clear.

Kaminski said he probably will ask the state DOT to use its INFORM electronic signs to recommend that motorists take alternative routes.

DOT spokeswoman Eileen Peters said, "We have not been contacted by Nassau County officials" other than the Nassau police's usual request to borrow two portable electronic message signs, which she said will be provided.

Nassau Community College spokesman Reggie Tuggle said the school had not heard from the county. And Andrew Parton, executive director of the Cradle of Aviation Museum at Mitchel Field, said, "Nobody talked to us at all about this."

The 27-minute "Celebrate America" production at Eisenhower Park, sponsored by TD Bank with pyrotechnics by Fireworks By Grucci, begins about 9 p.m. on July 3. The Bay Fireworks display at Nassau Coliseum Fair, produced by Fair Productions II Inc. of East Farmingdale, will start immediately after and last about 10 minutes.

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