The Town of Oyster Bay held their annual “Salute to America” show this week in featuring festive music and enough fireworks to light the heavens with patriotic glory for miles around.
Attracting thousands into the grounds of the park, show kicked off with an introduction by Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto, who thanked the thousands in attendance for coming, in particular singling out the military veterans in the audience for their service to our country.
Next, Venditto introduced several special annual Oyster Bay honorees, each selected for their contributions to the community, who were presented with medals and Certificates of Merit on-stage in front of everyone.
“It’s one thing to honor our veterans,” Venditto said. “But it’s another thing when your peers think so highly of you, that they pick a night like this to honor you. That says something about the quality of the service.”
Oyster Bay saluted three special residents that evening: Nancy Carter of Bethpage was presented with the non-Veteran Volunteer of the Year award, John E. Maxwell of Babylon was presented with the Veteran of the Year award, and Veteran Joe Ingino of Lindenhurst was presented with the Lifetime Achievement award.
Up next was Sixgun, one of the Tri-State area's top Country/Rock bands, who goes by the appropriate motto "Country With a Kick." They certainly lived up to that lofty claim Monday evening, keeping the crowd entertained for the duration of their 90-minute set with Honky-Tonk classics, original songs, and pop tunes with a Country twist.
Finally, the moment everyone had been waiting for – nightfall and a fantastic fireworks show by the famed Grucci Company, a show that certainly lived up to their legendary reputation. Lighting up the night sky with fiery wonder that captivated the thousands of attendees in grand fashion, the fireworks demonstration capped off an evening of patriotic fun and excitement in a way that only the Town of Oyster bay could deliver.
However, the evening was marred by an accident involving teen pedestrians on Merrick Road right outside the gates of Burns Park that took place while Sixgun was playing their set.
Despite the unfortunate shadow over the proceedings, residents, many of whom were unaware of what happened, still managed to enjoy themselves.
Sherry Belevokula of Farmingdale says she's been coming to the “Salute to America” show for as long as she can remember.
“I come with friends, I come with family, I’ve even come by myself a few times,” she said. “It’s a wonderful event and I never miss it.”
John Grissomb of Massapequa, a big fan of Oyster Bay’s Music Under the Stars series, said that fireworks on top of the tunes is like icing on a cake to him.
“I’m a big fan of a good fireworks show, and they put on some of the best ever here in Burns Park,” he said. “The wife, kids, and me always make a point of being here every year, even though we always end up having to park a mile away each time.”
Frank Lee of Syosset feels everyone should come down and enjoy the Town’s annual “Salute to America.”
“There’s no better way to pay tribute to this great land of ours than with music, fireworks, and family,” he said. “It’s a perfect evening every year.”