HAZLET – Hazlet Township’s fireworks show always draws families outside in the summer night to look up and ooh and ahh.
As night falls on July 3, folks will be staked out in their spots at Veterans’ Park, perched in the back of pick-up trucks in local parking lots or laying on their backs in nearby backyards and fields, peering up through the leafy trees. Bug spray will be in the air, and so will the anticipation.
The show begins around 9:15 p.m. with “a salute and a bang,” said Zambelli Fireworks salesman Mike Valdiserri, who services Hazlet’s extravaganza. A lead engineer and three assistants will run the show from the baseball fields off Union Avenue at Veterans’ Park, a purposefully safe distance from spectators gathered around the park and swim club.
The 20-minute display will be similar to the spectacular as in prior years, but expect more exciting features to stud the middle park of the exhibition, said Valdiserri.
As always, the show will end with a thrilling finale. Its designed to be a quick, overwhelming flurry of shells going off quick and fast – “The kind you feel in your chest,” he said.
On the fourth of July, Zambelli, one of several fireworks companies operating in our area, will be setting off fireworks in West Long Branch. But the show doesn’t stop there. The western Pennsylvania company is busy all year round, producing displays at the opening ceremony of the New York City Marathon, for the Pittsburgh Pirates “May the Fourth by With You” celebration (set to a Star Wars Theme music) on May 4, and its biggest show of all, the “Thunder over Louisville” kickoff to the Kentucky Derby Festival.
But Zambelli always comes back to do the Hazlet show. And Hazlet loves it. The township spends $12,600 for a deejay and fireworks event, by far the largest single-day event in the Recreation Dept. budget.
That price could soar much higher next year. Like most U.S. fireworks companies, Zambelli imports its goods from China. Fireworks and various pyrotechnics are included in the list of Chinese goods that will be subject to the latest round of tariffs of 25 percent or higher that President Donald Trump has threatened to put into effect. Stay tuned.