Some traditions are worth preserving.
The annual Massapequa Park fireworks display, which nearly became a budget casualty in March, went on as scheduled Friday night, much to the delight of the crowd in Mansfield Park.
"I was very unhappy when I heard they weren't going to do it," said Jacqui Griffin, who was among those enjoying a picture perfect summer evening.
"It's a tradition. I've been coming since I moved here, five years ago."
While the village of Massapequa Park initially cancelled the show, the Town of Oyster Bay stepped in to fund it.
The park was packed with thousands of people, many of them children. Families played ball and listened to oldies music from the popular local Doo Wop group, "Time Was."
Many in he crowd chowed down.
"We have chicken, biscuits, cole slaw and of course mac and cheese, said Marty Glynn, who was enjoying the feast with his wife Jeannie and his daughters Laura, 13, and Mary, 11.
"It's fun being here, you get to come and hang out with your family," Laura said.
Children lined up to get balloon animals from Eddie Tinnelly, aka "Tin Can the clown," who often appears at Massapequa Park events.
He said the holiday is about, "freedom of our country."
"I'm a Vietnam veteran and this is my way of giving back," he said.
The crowd helped Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto count down the last ten seconds to the beginning of the show.
Then the skies lit up with a stunning display of fireworks. The 20 minute show was accompanied by patriotic music such as "God Bless America," and Ray Charles' version of "America the Beautiful."
"The best part is the big orange ones," said Patricia Guarino, 58, who regularly attends the show with her husband John, who said the show signals "the beginning of summer" for him.
"It's about independence and the birth of our country. This is what America is all about," he said.