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Mangano urges Nassau residents to stay home for holiday weekend

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano encouraged area residents Friday to have a “staycation” this holiday weekend, even as a record number of travelers are expected to hit the road, spurred by lower gas prices.

“There’s so much to do right here in Nassau and avoid that traffic,” Mangano said at a news conference at Nickerson Beach, which opened 150 new cabanas this summer.

The county will host a fireworks show, presented by the Bellport-based Grucci family, at Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre in Eisenhower Park on Saturday.

The theatre opens at 5:30 p.m. and will begin with a concert by The Steam Punk Pirates, and Killer Joe and the Lido Soul Revue. Fireworks are expected to begin at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are free and available at TD Bank branches.

Acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said motorists should expect heavy traffic near the fireworks show and increased drunken driving checkpoints throughout the weekend.

Krumpter also warned residents “to leave the fireworks displays to the professionals” and avoid handling explosives.

“You don’t know what kind of fireworks you are getting or where they are coming from,” he said. “And you certainly do not know how to use the fireworks safely.”

AAA said a record 43 million Americans, including 3.1 million New Yorkers, are expected to travel Thursday through Monday, including 36 million by car.

Last year, roughly 41.9 million Americans traveled more than 50 miles during the Independence Day weekend, AAA said.

AAA spokesman Robert Sinclair attributed the increase to cheaper gasoline — $2.45 per gallon on Long Island, compared to $2.97 last year.

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