FAIRFIELD, NJ — “The best Fairfield fireworks ever,” said Rosalyn Coppola, a long time Fairfield resident, after the fireworks display at the Hollywood Avenue park on Wednesday.
Fairfield Township Mayor James Gasparini thanked the Calandra family, who donated the fireworks, and as well as BCB Bank for its $500 donation toward the festivities.
“It is a beautiful night to celebrate our country’s 241 birthday,” he said. “It’s the greatest country in the world. God bless America.”
The festivities began at dinnertime with variety of food trucks, face painting and souvenirs. The crowd sat at the tables provided and on the baseball field with their lawn chairs as they waited for the band to perform.
The Mahoney Brothers, a New Jersey-based band that has played all across the United States, Canada, Europe and Caribbean, performed its show “Jukebox Hero” for the crowd. The band donned costumes as it covered the music of Elvis, the Beatles, Neil Diamond, Roy Orbison, Billy Joel, Buddy Holly and the Beach Boys.
Band spokesman Tim Mahoney said that the band was glad to be back in Fairfield and commented on just how beautiful the weather was for an outdoor concert.
Area youth had fun with Silly String, stink bombs and Super Loud Bang Snaps, lightsabers and glow-in-the-dark necklaces.
“It is a marvelous day to celebrate our nation’s birthday with friends and family,” Nicole and Bella of North Caldwell said. “It’s so cool.”
Dom, Christus and Jordan were having fun with items they bought at the concession stand
“It’s a beautiful night, best ever,” said Tony Pompei, director of recreation. “It is great to be here with my kids and grandkids. It’s my favorite event of the year.”
Victoria Roccasanto, Bailey Winkler, Ally Uhlendorf and Caitlyn McMannus, West Essex eighth graders, said they were looking forward to the fireworks and seeing their friends.
“The food is chill,” they said.
Brie and Andrew LaForgia, grandchildren of Councilman John LaForgia and his wife Toni, who is president of the Fairfield library board, said they were excited about the fireworks and celebrating America’s birthday. Andrew was especially excited about “eating hot dogs without bread.”
Fairfield resident Donna Macon said that she was glad the township does this every year, and Colleen Volanti said that it is a tradition for her and her husband Phil to come to the festivities and fireworks.
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) was at the event promoting the organization by making it visible to the community. Carla Marras, Serhat Cil and others were there to spread the word.
According to the website, “CERT educates individuals about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT volunteers can assist others in their community following a disaster when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT volunteers are also encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking an active role in emergency preparedness projects.”
Other residents enjoying the night were Barbara Dallegro, Lorraine Ascensao, Joan Doud and Pam Danko. The women were very happy that the township had sprayed for mosquitoes.
“I picked a good night out,” said Dallegro, and Doud said, “No humidity, no mosquitoes, what a beautiful night.”