Update: Since this article was posted, due to weather concerns, the Asharoken fireworks show has now been moved to July 5th, instead of July 4th.
The Show In Asharoken
This Fourth of July, the skies over Asharoken will again provide the backdrop for the village’s annual fireworks show thanks to a fundraising effort by Carole Casamassima and Linda Letica, wife of Mayor Greg Letica.
The two women presented the village with checks – a combined $8,500 – on May 6. According to the village’s website, the donations will cover nearly one third of the cost of the 16th annual fireworks show on July 4.
“This type of volunteerism is what makes our village such a terrific place to live,” said Mayor Letica in a letter posted on the village website on May 9.
Linda Letica raised $1,000 of the $8,500 by designing and selling t-shirts, hats, jackets and sweatshirts that displayed the “Asharoken” name over a firework graphic. Others have made and sold Asharoken clothing in the past, she said.
Casamassima raised her $7,500 portion through raffle prizes at the annual Holiday Party – a fraction of the over-$20,000 contribution she has made to the village’s fundraising efforts over the past four years, according to the letter.
The show, a tradition started by former Mayor William H. Kelly in 1999, will take place on the Sound-side beach on July 4. This year’s show, to be put on by Fireworks by Grucci, is dedicated to Kelly, who died April 6.
According to the village website, the show will start around 9:15 p.m. All are asked to park on their own private property, as there will be no parking allowed on any village street and no public parking facilities. Bonfires will not be allowed given the weather.
Want to see the fireworks?
Get an early start if you’re planning to park at Crab Meadow Beach to watch the Asharoken fireworks show. Parking there will be limited to town residents. Once the lot is full, traffic will be diverted at the intersection of Waterside Road and Eaton’s Neck Road. Waterside will be shut at Waterside and West Street. Town officials expect the lot to be full by 8 p.m. The town will also have lifeguards on duty until 11 p.m. at West Neck, Centerport, Asharoken and Crab Meadow beaches.
Town Sets 5 MPH Speed Limit For Boats
Huntington officials are ramping up efforts to make local waters safer this Fourth of July weekend.
For the second year, a 5 mph water speed limit will be imposed from 8:30-11 p.m., in coordination with Asharoken’s annual fireworks display and other shows in the area.
“It’s a beautiful day to be on the water, but unfortunately, if not done correctly, it can be one of the most dangerous activities,” Councilman Mark Cuthbertson said at a press conference Tuesday to announce the rules.
The restriction will apply to all of Northport Bay and Huntington Bay south from the line extending from Target Rock to Buoy One in Coast Guard Cove, as well as the Long Island Sound from the easternmost section of the Northport Power Plant to the westernmost end of the causeway on Asharoken Avenue. A map can be downloaded at huntingtonny.gov.
“We want boaters to enjoy the day in a way that is safe for themselves, their guests and other boats,” Supervisor Frank Petrone said. “We hope these measures will help make Huntington’s waters a little safer for everybody.”
“Part of the Fourth of July is enjoying the fireworks, but you have to enjoy the fireworks safely, especially if you’re out on the water,” Councilwoman Susan Berland added.
Within that zone, the town is also stepping up patrols and is collaborating with local police and fire departments to increase monitoring and ensure a safe departure following the shows. The town will also repurpose a pump-out boat as a patrol vessel for the weekend, Cuthbertson added.
The tighter rules and increased patrols are in response to the July 4, 2012 tragedy, in which three children died off Oyster Bay Cove when the boat in which they were watching a fireworks show capsized as it was returning to Huntington. Since the tragedy, the town has worked closely with the Greater Huntington Council of Yacht and Boating Clubs to step up boater safety education and to encourage responsible boating.
During Tuesday’s press conference, held at Mill Dam Park, Lisa Gaines, mother of 7-year-old Victoria Gaines who died in the capsizing, said she and MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) are donating breathalyzer kits to the town in an effort to deter boating while intoxicated.
She urged state lawmakers to further strengthen boating safety laws, and urged boaters to check the weather and ensure that their vessel has enough flotation devices aboard, has recently been inspected, and is not overloaded with passengers.
“Think, plan, slow down and be safe this holiday and always. You could be saving a life,” she said.